Canadian Premier's comments increase the confidence in the testing and safety of Canadian Beef. (He suggested that ranchers should shoot mad cows, bury them, and then not tell anyone...)
Canadian beef is currently embargoed due to a case of Mad Cow Disease discovered in Alberta. In a comment made to the Western Governors council in Montana, as reported on the CBC site, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein made the suggestion that the whole problem could have been avoided if the rancher had simply buried the mad cow. He said the rancher who owned the cow "knew nothing about cattle ranching," then added: "I guess any self-respecting rancher would have shot, shoveled and shut up," rather than ship the sickly animal for slaughter.
Montana ranchers considered the comments to be 'irresponsible' and Klein issued an apology later, saying ""I did not, nor would I ever, counsel anyone to break the law by not reporting a suspected case of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). Nor did I intend to insult the rancher who owned the diseased cow, or the ranching industry in general."
While he is being roasted in the media, no doubt a lot of Alberta beef ranchers are in full agreement with what he said (wink nod) and with his encouragement, no doubt will begin doing everything they can to hide mad cow disease from the public in the future so a scandal like the present one never happens again. Let's hope he meant it as some kind of crude joke, but it really was a stupid thing to be saying - even if it might be what a lot of ranchers are thinking...
and if that thought doesn't increase your confidence in the integrity and safety of beef I don't know what would...
interview on CBC
A rancher named Livingston is being interviewed on behalf of Alberta Ranchers...
I am typing as fast as I can trying to keep up with this remarkable interview with a Canadian rancher...
the general practice is to destroy the sick cattle at the ranch and bury them. We do not send sick cows to town. If its obviously sick, and the cow doesn't get up, and is not going to recover, you don't need an expert. You don't need to bother anyone from town. Take care of the problem yourself. Ralph Klein tells is like it is. (Shoot, shovel, and shut up). the Rancher is outraged that Klein is catching hell for his common sense comments.
The rancher then insists that science is wrong and mad cow disease is not a problem. People don't get sick from eating BSE infected cattle. If we did more science we would find that out. If the rancher had taken care of his cow on his own ranch no one would have known about the BSE. No sick cow should ever be taken to town.
He then insists that people are making to big a deal about Ralph Klein's comments. he was speaking to ranchers that time and all ranchers know that you should just bury sick cows. Ranchers know very well that this 'shoot, shovel, and bury' practice is done every where by ranchers in both canada and the United States, he said. klein was just telling them what they already know. Whether you bury the cow depends on how sick the cow looks and whether or not it can stand up and still walk. The health system of canada's cows is best taken care of by ranchers who just shoot their own cows and take care of the health of Canada's cows themselves. There's no need to bring in some expert. Canada's ranchers are the ones who best know when a cow is to sick to take to town and thus needs to be shot and buried.
The reporter then asked, "Its common practice for Ranchers to shoot and bury cows, and no testing is done by experts to determine if the cow was infected. How can we reassure people that Canada has no more mad cows, given that this is the common practice."
The rancher replied, All the sick looking cows stay home, or get shot. The cattle that are put in the food chain are inspected. We haven't got BSE except for one cow, and it only got picked up because that cow got taken to town. If he hadn't taken that cow to town no one would know. He probably wouldn't do it again, now that he knows what will happen, but they aren't mad at him for taking that cow to town.
that has to be the most amazing interview I have ever heard...by the way...I am not making this up...it was on the CBC at around 12:35 central time