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Saturday, 10 February 2007
Oozing on the M25

oozing truck

What is this stuff oozing out of the back of a truck on the M25 on Wednesday afternoon this week? It has nothing to do with the snowfall, which was the following day.  The truck was photographed heading in the general direction of Dover, and presumably the European mainland as it has a Polish number plate.

Bird flu recently hit a turkey farm in England.  It seems that the news outlets were quick to repeat the same mistake as last year and blame wild birds, when it appears to be our own intensive farming methods which lie at the centre of the problem.  Here’s the chronology of blame.  The company involved may not have transported infected birds from Hungary to the UK - it may have been animal feed: do you know what factory farmers feed their livestock?

The advent of “mad cow” disease (also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE) raised international concern about the safety of feeding rendered[1] cattle to cattle. Since the discovery of mad cow disease in the United States, the federal government has taken some action to restrict the parts of cattle that can be fed back to cattle.

However, most animals are still allowed to eat meat from their own species. Pig carcasses can be rendered and fed back to pigs, chicken carcasses can be rendered and fed back to chickens, and turkey carcasses can be rendered and fed back to turkeys. Even cattle can still be fed cow blood and some other cow parts.

Under current law, pigs, chickens, and turkeys that have been fed rendered cattle can be rendered and fed back to cattle—a loophole that may allow mad cow agents to infect healthy cattle.

Animal feed legally can contain rendered road kill, dead horses, and euthanized cats and dogs.

Rendered feathers, hair, skin, hooves, blood, and intestines can also be found in feed, often under catch-all categories like “animal protein products.”

Bear in mind that the latest research on the bird flu outbreaks last year indicated that it was factory farms infecting wildlife and not the other way around, and that most contamination was through fecal matter and you don’t need a PhD in biology to see where this story is heading to.

Posted by bigblue on 10/02/2007 at 11:06 AM
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