“Shoot, shovel, and shut up” might sound like a bad bumper sticker, but it’s actually how former Canadian Premier Ralph Klein did business. He recommended to cattle farmers that if they suspect a cow has mad cow disease, they should kill the cow, dispose of the body, and not report the incident. It’s impossible to say how many cases of mad cow disease have gone unreported, but this week in Alberta, a new case was discovered in a cow used by the dairy industry.
Before we go all South Park and start blaming Canada for everything, consider this: Mad cow disease incubates in cows for so long that most cows show no symptoms before they are sent to slaughter. The cow in Alberta was over 6-years-old—older than most cows who are killed for their flesh. Cases of mad cow disease have been reported all across North America and around the world—but those are just the cases that were caught. Cue Twilight Zone music.
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The only way to totally avoid entering the mad cow zone is to keep cows and other animals off your plate.
Written by Michelle Kretzer