Downer cows are tainted


Published: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 12:16 a.m.

In regards to The Sun's editorial on USDA-grade beef (Dec. 30): What an eye opener.

I worked at a livestock market for several years and saw many "downer" cows sold. Most sold for 5 cents or 10 cents per pound. One particular buyer bought most of the downer cows. They claimed they sold them for pet food to all the major pet food companies. The cows were weak, old, diseased and many had tumors (very visible). Most could barely walk. Some were dragged out of the ring.

Now I read in the editorial that the USDA allows the slaughter of downer cows. Ranchers say it would be unfair to stop the slaughter of downer cows, since most are not infected. Infected with what? God only knows!

They are sick, extremely thin, weak and the tumors are most likely cancerous. What more do we need to know? To me this is tainted beef.

We need a major change in USDA policy if beef farmers are to survive. Also, remember when they labeled milk that contained bovine growth hormone? They no longer label it. I try to limit my milk intake, and prefer to drink Silk soy milk.

Mary Borchardt,

High Springs

(Editor's note: The USDA recently banned the slaughter of downer cows.)

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