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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Cattle cull? 

Added to my update on the BSE story - CTV.ca | Mad cow owner points to suspect cattle feed- comes the discussion further down the story about Ralph Klein's call for a cattle cull -- ie, slaughtering of all cattle over six or seven years of age.
Such a cull would be difficult and expensive and painful. But Ralph is likely right that a cull may be the only solution -- the thousands of animals we now have over six are, I would think, virtually worthless now anyway and their continued existence jeopardizes the perception of safety so important to the industry. How to undertake the cull is also a terrible problem - from the radio discussion I heard today, our processing plants just don't have the capacity to process such a large number of animals quickly, so burning the carcasses may be the only option.
So to satisfy that greater beast, The Market, we slaughter thousands of healthy animals whose only crime was to be born too early, or too late, and we waste their meat while millions starve around the world.
That cracking sound you hear is the hearts of hundreds of cattle ranchers, breaking, as they contemplate the prospect.

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