12/22/03 3/23/04
  $/head $/head
Steer Hide, butt brand $66.94 $65.03
Tallow, edible 4.34 3.06
Tallow, packer bleachable 13.64 10.20
Tongues, Swiss #1 white 12.50 2.93
Cheek meat, trimmed 5.36 2.81
Head meat 1.40 1.15
Oxtail, selected 5.48 2.55
Hearts, reg, bone out 1.53 1.15
Lips, unscalded $1.66 $1.02
Livers, slected, gall off 4.34 2.81
Tripe, scalded, edible 4.59 2.30
Tripe, honeycomb, bleached 2.93 2.17
Lungs, edible 0.13 0.13
Melts 0.00 0.00
Meat-and-bone meal, 50% blk/ton 6.12 6.50
Blood meal, 85% blk/ton 2.81 2.17
Total $133.75 $105.95
Source: Cattle-Fax

Cost Summary

New Regulations Cost
Specified Risk Materials $100 million
“Downers” $50-70 million
Over 30 months of age $17-73 million
Advanced Meat Recovery $15 million
BSE Testing $1.2 (to $201 million)
Total $183-277 million
  ($27-41/head)

Regulators And Congress Take Aim

Today, Americans are just beginning to see how important BSE-related issues have become on Capitol Hill. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) reports that seven pieces of legislation have been introduced in Congress to address animal identification (ID) and traceback.

  • The BSE and Other Prion Disease Prevention and Public Health Protection Act contains ID language and provides for a national animal heath laboratory network. It also calls for rapid prion disease screening for all non-ambulatory ruminants 30 months of age and older and expands testing for chronic wasting disease in farm-raised deer and elk.

  • The Animal Feed Protection Act would impose a comprehensive ban on interstate commerce in animal feeds that contain specified risk materials from ruminants.

  • H.R. 3705 seeks to amend the Federal Meat Inspection Act to require USDA to test all cattle for BSE at slaughter.

  • The Consumer and Producer Protection Act would redefine a “downer” to exempt those paralyzed by “fatigue, stress, obdurator nerve paralysis, obesity, or one or more broken or fractured appendages, severed tendons or ligaments, or dislocated joints.”

    Meanwhile, the animal feeding industry has been hit with several interim rules by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designed to strengthen BSE firewalls. These include:

  • Elimination of present exemptions that allow mammalian blood and blood products to be fed to other ruminants.

  • Banning poultry litter and plate waste as feed ingredients for ruminants.

  • Requiring feed manufacturing equipment, facilities or production lines to be dedicated to non-ruminant animal feeds if they use protein prohibited in ruminant feed.

  • Increased inspection of feed mills and renderers by the FDA.

    There is concern though, that animal products prohibited from cattle feed are currently acceptable for use in pet food. Such products include meat-and-bone meal. There's been much informal discussion about banning such animal products from pet foods for two reasons:

  • A significant amount of pet foods may be entering the human food chain.

  • Accidental or unintended consumption of pet foods by animals intended for human consumption.