Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says he’s concerned about a proposal by the U-S-D-A to cut back on the number of tests done for “mad cow” disease. The cutbacks were proposed before the latest case of mad cow was discovered in an animal in Alabama. Harkin says the U-S-D-A should “fix the shortcomings, not weaken it even more.” Harkin says though the most important step is instituting an animal I.D. system that follows and animal throughout its life. Harkin, a democrat,says now is not the time to cut back on testing. He says, “to save money here is really penny-wise and pound foolish.” He says if there’s a couple more cases of mad cow, then consumer confidence will really be shaken. Harkin says the U.S. must also stop feeding “chicken litter” to cows.He says ruminant animal parts, some that are specified as “risk material”, are ground up and fed to chickens and then the “chicken litter” is fed back to cows. Harkin,says “that should not be allowed.” Officials in Alabama are still trying to track the history of the animal with the disease.
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