News 214 views last update:6 Aug 2012

USDA: Cattle feed ban have cost $900m

The 1997 feed regulations regarding the prevention of BSE have cost the US nearly $900 million, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service said in a September report.

The costs though are only a fraction of lost export business due to import bans, which the USDA estimates between $3.2 billion and $4.7 billion. The most obvious benefit is reduction of risk from animal disease-in this case, risk to animals from BSE and risk to humans of vCJD. However, the incremental value of this risk reduction has not been estimated.

Of the nearly $900 million price tag for the feed regulations, in aggregate annual effects, the USDA said the cost of feeding cattle rose by $637 million. The definition of specified risk material - such as brains or spinal columns - increased costs by $195 million. The net loss to renderers was $53 million and meat and bone meal prices by rose $8 million.

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