This alert is no longer active: Take Action! Urge Johanns not to allow 'Downer' Cattle in Food!
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The USDA may soon be starting the process to weaken the rule that prohibits "downer" cattle - those which are too sick or injured to walk- from the human food supply. Instituted fifteen months ago in response to the discovery of mad cow disease (or BSE) in the United States, the restriction on downers in food is an important food safety measure which should not be weakened. An inability to walk or stand can be a sign of sickness, including mad cow disease, abscess, pneumonia, or gangrene. Additionally, transporting animals that cannot walk to slaugterhouses can be inhumane, as these animals may have to be dragged or otherwise forced to the slaughterhouse. Sick animals are not a source of wholesome meat- yet the USDA now wants to allow some cows that cannot walk to be killed for food. Send an email to Mike Johanns, Secretary of Agriculture, urging him not to weaken the rules that prohibit downer cattle from reaching our dinner plates.