The Iowa Farm Bureau’s president says the organization supports creation of a national system that would quickly identify the background of cattle that fail the Mad Cow test.
Craig Lange says there should be a national animal identification program to quickly verify an animal’s history — from birth to death. “This is an animal health issue,” Lange says. “It’s a human health issue as well.” Early last week tests confirmed an elderly cow in Alabama tested positive for Mad Cow disease.
Lange says a national livestock I.D. system would assure consumers of the safety of the meat supply. “Ultimately we’re talking about health issues not only for animals but people,” Lange says. This past week the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization reported cases of Mad Cow disease have declined significantly worldwide, and the group said it’s clear that measures introduced to stop the spread of the disease are working.
On Monday, U.S. and Japanese officials are to meet to discuss the Japanese ban on U.S. beef imports. Japan suspended U.S. beef imports in January after a shipment of U.S. veal included brain stem materials that are not allowed as a safety precaution against Mad Cow.