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New Bill Seeks to Ban Slaughter of Downer Cows

In what would seem like a natural progression in food safety, congressman Gary Ackerman, D-NY, along with the Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act this week reintroduced a bill that would permanently ban the slaughter of cows that are unhealthy, immobile, diseased, or ill (“downer” cows).

Ackerman has championed legislation such as this since 2003, when his warning to the Bush administration that the sale of downed cows could lead to Mad Cow Disease fell on deaf ears. It was not until his fears came to fruition that the first steps were taken to promote such bans.

The slaughter of downed cows has not been allowed since 2009, after this (disturbing) video of cows being abused in a California plant was leaked. This video prompted a recall of 143 million pounds of beef (37 million pounds of which was earmarked for the National School Lunch Program).

An article from Food Safety News describes this bill as a critical step to ensuring that our nation is taking all necessary steps in order to protect the country’s food supply. This legislation would make the three-year-old ban on the slaughter and sale of downed cows permanent.

Image Source: Kathy, Sam Max and Mai/Flickr