To the editor:
No cow left behind.
With the outbreak of mad cow disease in the United States, much has been said and proposed by politicians, the cattle industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Mad cow disease may be more prevalent in the United States than most Americans are willing to admit.
The fact is, CWD (chronic wasting disease), the counterpart to mad cow disease, found in the deer species, i.e. deer, elk and moose, has been well documented in Nebraska, Colorado and Wisconsin.
Random testing of deer killed during the 2003-04 hunting seasons in Missouri and Kansas is now being conducted.
While symptoms of CWD in deer and mad cow disease in cattle share many similarities, it isn't certain that the two diseases are identical.
Fact: The only sure way to rule out CWD in deer and mad cow disease in cattle is to test brain tissue of both animals.
In short, if we are going to regain world beef markets, vital to this nation's economy, and more importantly, protect the health of beef-eating Americans, testing every animal slaughtered may be our only recourse.
The cost of the above testing is approximately $30-$40 per head. This is a small price to pay for our nation's health and well being.