F&MD - My News Source - Livestock (MCD & F&MD)

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I haven't been posting the last couple of days on updates due to concerns about using copyrighted material. Not really on myself, but on exposing the magazine. However, to keep informed the best source of articles I have found is the New York Times (www.newyorktimes.com). Just search on mad cow disease and foot mouth disease for however back you want to go. If you use the last two weeks, you don't need to check daily.

There is one on there now saying Chronic Wasting Disease (aka Mad Deer or Elk Disease) has now been confirmed in Canada outside of deer ranches. Officials say they rather doubt it can be transferred to humans due to being different species, but then something apparently happened - yet not fully understood - with Scrapie, MCD & vCJD. In England there is some speculation some cats and dogs have come down with the equivalent disease through MCD-tainted processed food.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 10, 2001


I was doing a lot of cutting and pasting too from www.telegraph.co.uk. That's the site where the farmer's wife had her diary. I can't find the new update on her diary. Someone always posted it for us here. I did not give credit to the newspaper, though. I quess I should have. It's a very good place to read about F&MD on a personal level. Please tell me the part about the dogs and cats is not true, that's not good.

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@hotmail.com), April 10, 2001.

Talking about diseases crossing the species barrier, it's interesting to note that CJD isn't the new disease most people think it is. It has been around for hundreds of years. It was mainly prevalent among the native tribes of Papua New Guinea. These people were canibals. The ones who got CJD were the brain eaters. Those who mistakenly believed if you ate the brain of your enemy, you inherited his strength, knowledge and wisdom. We haven't heard much about it simply because canibalism ceased nearly a hundred years ago - and so did the problem of CJD. That is until greedy slaughterhouse owners decided to feed the residue (brain tissue, spinal cord, bones etc) of the slaughtered cattle and sheep back to the cattle as a protein supplement. I wouldn't be surprised at what crosses the species barrier. Make of it what you will!


-- Eric J Methven (e_methven@btinternet.com), April 10, 2001.

I thought the species barrier was concerning mainly viruses. We know so little about prions that it is both unsafe and unwise to assume they operate like other agents. I see no reason they, prions, can not enter and cause damage in any species in the animal kingdom.

-- Lynn Goltz (lynngoltz@aol.com), April 10, 2001.

ken, I hope that somehow this problem with the coyright will clear up. I don't know about anyone else, but I greatly appreciate all the information that you have went to the trouble to find out. Anyone with animals should be vary concerned that we could be next. Any information that I have seen on the news is not giving myself any comfort that everything is being done to protect us[ the citizens of the US] I don't know the answer, but I am really glad that you did the job you did or most, if not all, would not even know what we know now, thanks to you. There is vary little news in NE KY on the subject. The people I've talked to here think this is just a little inconvience nothing that will effect their lives. I'm afraid that I don't want to wait and see with my head in the sand. Again thanks from my side of the world. Lexi

-- lexi Green (whitestone11@hotmail.com), April 10, 2001.

Please lets just go back to the old forum ideals! First it's one thing and now another! All information at one time is probably in a copyrighted form, either as a newpaper, or a paper written by a scientist! This is all becoming way to big of a deal! We aren't that important. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), April 10, 2001.


I disagree somewhat with some of what you said.

Yes, CJD has probably been around for hundreds of years and it seems to occur spontaneously in about 1:1M people worldwide. That figure isn't firm as it is often intrepreted as Alzheimers.

The cannibalism in New Guinea wasn't an enemy thing as much as relatives eating their relatives as an honor to them, and has only fairly recently been discontinued.

The processing of meat and bone meal (MBM), including sheep carcasses, has been widespread since about the end of WW-II, yet only England has experienced the vast majority of BSE/MCD/vCJD. Rather makes one wonder if something else came into play as a causal agent.

On F&MD, my reading is England was an accident waiting to happen due to lax import inspection.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 10, 2001.

That's what I don't understand! Great Britian was importing uncooked meat from un-clean countries in the first place! I read that a long time ago, and that was why the farmers were so angry. Whose side were they on anyway. The farmers didn't understand that either. So who is to blame? After an outbreak, then they stop importing uncooked meat. Go figure.

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@hotmail.com), April 11, 2001.


I believe it the practice of feeding human garbage swill to hogs has not been banned in England. However, it is still allowed in the U.S. Logic is banning it would drive it underground and thus it couldn't be regulated. In all likelihood, if F&MD comes to the U.S., this will likely be how it get started. Brother Bubba smuggles in a sausage made from F&MD-infected meat and the scraps are fed to his hogs. Bubba says, hey, they were sick for a while and aren't productive anymore so I'll just load them up for the sale's barn. If not caught there, the chain starts.

Funny, on MCD the incubation period is given as 10-30 years. Yet, the cannibalism Kuru struck within a couple of years. This is well documented in Richard Rhodes book, "Deadly Feasts". Got my copy through www.half.com. Order the paperback edition as it has an afterword on the prion debate. I just have this gut reaction prions, by themselves, are not the answer to MCD or vCJD. If it is determined to be a virus, then a vaccine might be developed.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 11, 2001.

dear ken - just a small aside on the point you made about MCD in cats and dogs. although im not sure about the current figures, i can confirm that my cat was diagnosed and died of this as long ago as 1992. now i only feed unprocessed food to all of my animals. you could also access records from london zoo - they had an outbreak of MCD in kudu during the late 80's. in fact, MCD in various zoo animals is well known- from cheetah all they way through to ungulates. hurrah for pelleted food! isobel

-- isobel collier (isobelstudely@hotmail.com), June 10, 2001.

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