In an effort to keep Mad Cow Disease from spreading throughout our nation's cattle, the USDA today issued new qualifications for all cattle destined for human consumption.
The biggest surprise of the new mandate is that the USDA has officially banned the slaughter and rendering of all cows that have been dead for over a period of one week.
"We are extremely upset about the government's interference in this obviously private enterprise matter," an U.S. beef industry spokesperson said at a rally in Houston, TX earlier this week. "We have been slaughtering cattle in various stages of decay and selling it to the masses for decades, and it has not hurt anyone."
Apparently, the USDA disagrees. The official statement on the Department of Agriculture's website states, "While it is true that we do not have definite proof that this rotting meat is bad for consumption, we feel we should follow the lead set by the dog food industry over 20 years ago, and go ahead and ban it."
Cattle farmer William Morrow attended the beef industry rally and eloquently told the crowd that this mandate unfairly targets the big time cattle farmers. "I have over 12,000 free range cattle grazing on nearly 9,000 acres. It goes without saying that sometimes I lose animals and don't realize it for weeks. I cannot imagine the loss of revenue I would sustain if I could not still slaughter these animals."
The USDA recognizes the plight of the big time cattle farmers and is currently considering alternatives for the dead cattle. In the meantime, any farmer caught slaughtering a cow that has been dead longer than one week will have to pay a $75 fine.