Ease Restrictions on Slaughter of Downer Cattle
April 22, 2005
April 22, 2005 - According to Meatingplace.com, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has suggested he is considering easing the ban on the slaughter of so-called downer cattle, non-ambulatory animals that cannot walk or stand on their own. At present, all such animals are prohibited from being used for human food.
Johanns said that if an animal has a broken leg and is under 30 months of age, there is no danger of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, so such animals should be allowed into the food chain.
Consumer groups, animal protection groups and medical authorities oppose any such easing of restrictions on grounds of food safety and compassion.