Mad Cow Disease Discovered
Officials say Nebraska's beef industry should not feel much of an impact from today's announcement from the US Department of Agriculture of a possible case of mad cow disease in Washington state. The Deputy Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, says Nebraska typically does not conduct much cattle trade with the state, so the chance that Nebraska cattle have come in contact with the sick cow in question is less likely. But Japan and South Korea have already said they will suspend imports of US beef. Cases of mad cow in Canada and Europe have severely damaged those cattle industries.
The next step is to determine what cattle may have come in contact with the Washington cow. Then those animals will be tested as well. In the mean time, industry leaders are asking consumers to stay calm and reassuring them that all precautions are in place to stop the disease from spreading. Nebraska's beef industry has annual sales of 4 to 5 billion dollars and produces 20 percent of the nation's beef.