USDA Finds No Foot and Mouth in Suspect Cattle
Five cattle in Kansas tested negative for the potentially devastating foot-and-mouth disease, not seen in the United States since 1929, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. Reports of a possible foot-and-mouth outbreak rattled commodity
markets and food company shares, like restaurant company McDonald’s Corp. and
pork and meat processor Smithfield Foods earlier in the day.
Mouth blisters were discovered on the cattle at a livestock market in Holton,
Kansas, on Tuesday, according to U.S. Agriculture Department spokesman Jerry
Redding. Blood, tissue and saliva samples were sent the next day to a USDA animal
disease laboratory in Plum Island, New York.
Moderator Comment: Is a broad outbreak of foot-and-mouth
or other disease likely to happen in the United States?
The precarious nature of the meat processing business
came into sharp focus yesterday as the mere prospect of foot and mouth disease
sent the futures market and company share prices into a state of disarray. [George
Anderson – Moderator]