Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)

BSE Fact Sheet - April 24, 2012

This fact sheet provides background information on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, and the dairy industry.


National Milk Producers Federation Comments to USDA - June 14, 2012

NMPF commented in support of the USDA-APHIS proposed rule on “Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Importation of Bovines and Bovine Products” as published in the Federal Register.    By amending the USDA-APHIS regulations based on internationally accepted scientific literature and making them consistent with guidelines set out in the OIE’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code, USDA-APHIS will continue its strong protection of the United States against BSE.  Further, by making regulations consistent with internationally accepted standards, a finalized rule could have many benefits for U.S. trade. In terms of trade, the USDA-APHIS proposal will provide a level playing field by allowing more countries to export product into the United States and opening up more markets to U.S. exports.  NMPF also recommended that USDA-APHIS immediately implement the proposed rule “Traceability for Livestock Moving Interstate”. 


National Milk Producers Federation Statement on USDA BSE Announcement - April 24, 2012

America’s dairy farmers are encouraged that the on-going surveillance and inspections performed by federal authorities continue to ensure that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, does not enter the U.S. food supply. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Tuesday that a BSE-infected animal was detected in California, in a dairy cow that was presented at a rendering plant. Three previous cases of BSE have been discovered in the U.S. in the past nine years. Although details about the age and origins of the animal were being withheld pending further investigation, ">NMPF offered important points about the issue in a statement.


FDA Proposes to Extend Implementation Deadline for BSE Feed Ban Rule - April 9, 2009

FDA published a proposed 60-day extension of the implementation of the Final Rule on the exclusion of Specified Risk Materials (SRM) from all feed. The rule was expected to strengthen existing safeguards that would help prevent the spread of BSE in U.S. cattle (the BSE Feed Ban Rule) and was supposed to take effect on April 27, 2009.

FDA estimated that the collection of dead cows and calves would decrease by 29.4 – 44.8% due to changes anticipated in the rendering industry, and advised that “dead animals no longer collected should be disposed of in an environmentally and legally acceptable manner.”

Specific to dairy producers, NMPF was concerned with the environmental and animal health implications for the disposal of dead stock from the farm and SRM from rendering facilities that the Final Rule created. NMPF strongly encouraged a National SRM Disposal Plan be put in place prior to implementation of the Final Rule. To date, no National SRM Disposal Plan has been developed or proposed at any level in the Federal government.

NMPF's full letter to FDA regarding the delayed implementation of the Final Rule and the need for a National SRM Disposal Plan is available here.


NMPF Asks FDA to Postpone BSE Ruminant Feed Ban - February 3, 2009

NMPF and 11 other agricultural organizations sent a letter to the Obama Administration requesting that implementation of FDA's BSE Ruminant Feed Ban, which was finalized last year, be postponed for 60 days. That would allow the organizations to provide the most current data and evidence of the Ruminant Feed Ban's impact on producer operations. The letter also asked that the comment period on the Ruminant Feed Ban be reopened for an additional 30 days so that the affected industries may further comment on the impact of the requirements contained in the final Ruminant Feed Ban.


USDA Urged to Close Canadian Border - July 31, 2008

In a letter to USDA Secretary Ed Schafer, NMPF President and CEO Jerry Kozak requested that USDA close the Canadian border to the importation of cattle for breeding or herd replacement purposes due to the continued threat of BSE-infected Canadian livestock. NMPF believed that the Canadian border should only be reopened again when USDA can accurately track imported animals and can guarantee that they're healthy.