USDA Kills 29 Cattle
Linked To Mad Cow Animal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. animal health officials have tracked down and culled 29 cattle linked to a 12-year-old Texas beef cow infected with mad cow disease, the Agriculture Department said Friday.
Since the discovery of the nation's second case of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the USDA has sought after all offspring and herd mates that were born within a year or two of the infected animal.
"On Wednesday, 29 adult animals were transported to a collection site," the USDA said in its daily mad cow update. "These animals were euthanized and sampled for BSE tests."
Jim Rogers, spokesman for USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the cattle were from the same Texas farm that the Brahma crossbreed cow was born and raised.
The USDA has refused to disclose information about the ranch because of privacy concerns. The department also would not say how many more herd mates and offspring it was hoping to find.
Samples of the herd mates' brain tissue were sent to the USDA animal health laboratory in Ames, Iowa, where it will be examined using a rapid screening test.
USDA said it would announce the test results as soon as it receives them.
The department did not expect to find any new cases. "It is pretty unlikely to find more than one in a herd that has a positive animal," Rogers said.
The infected cow was slaughtered and delivered to the Champion Pet Foods plant in Waco, Texas, in mid-November.
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