RE: Hoof and mouth disease: bio-warfare?

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Sat Mar 24 2001 - 17:13:22 MST

Michael Lorrey wrote on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 12:15 pm,
> Maybe its just my paraoid streak, but with the reports of hoof and mouth
> disease spreading to livestock around the world, from Saudi Arabia to
> Korea, makes me wonder if this is not a planted disease by anti-meat
> forces....

Good theory, but I don't think so in this case. The disease does crop up
here and there without terrorist intervention. This latest outbreak has not
appeared in multiple places simultaneously. All infections can be traced to
infected beef from other farms. They have traced back to a single farm
where the epidemic is believed to have started. If it was a terrorist
attack, it was a single point of infection which was not any more pervasive
than the natural disease might have been. I would assume that terrorists
would have chosen to infect a major feed company or something more

Actually, this kind of epidemic has long been predicted. Because of the way
that beef by-products are mixed in the feed for other cows, it has long been
known that a disease outbreak like Mad Cow disease would spread very
quickly. This is why US beef has been banned in the UK. It is ironic that
they are having this problem first, since they were more afraid of the US
starting this epidemic.

CNN reported that about 100 people have been infected with Mad Cow disease
in Europe. They used to tell people to go ahead and eat the beef because
the disease did not affect humans. Unfortunately, we now know that this
isn't true. Humans can get the brain disease, and it is totally incurable.
All infected people die from insanity and loss of nervous-system control.

CNN also claims that while the disease does not usually jump between
species, it could be possible for sheep to carry the disease after eating
beef-based feed. These sheep are assumed to be healthy, and the milk from
the sheep is assumed to be safe, but the fear is that any cow that eats the
sheep by-products could then become infected. In other words, sheep can be
carriers of Mad Cow disease. (The fact that humans have caught Mad Cow
disease shows that cross-species infection is definitely possible.)

Harvey Newstrom <> <>

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