After Mad Cow: Cattle Raisers Concerned About Future - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

01/07/04 - Sulphur Springs

After Mad Cow: Cattle Raisers Concerned About Future

The discovery of Mad Cow Disease in Washington State last month sent fear and worry through the cattle industry. Here in East Texas, buyers and sellers of area cattle are going about life as normal--the best they can. 

At the Sulphur Springs Livestock Auction, prices fell the week after the announcement, but this week things are closer to average. The fear of the future remains as export markets are still closed, and no one knows if or when another case of the disease will be found. So, they're focusing on education -- telling folks of the low risk of infected meat ever making it to the dinner table.

"The chances are greater that I'm going to be killed on the highway going home, then they are from me eating mad cow," says auction yard floorman Gene Marts.

"We were selling fat cattle in the 90s (cents per pound)0, and then it immediately the fat cattle dropped down into the 70s. And it's going to be hard, and it cost a lot of people a lot of money," says auctioneer Shannon Davis.

It's close to being back to normal in East Texas, but not so in some other places. The cattle sale in the panhandle town of Tulia saw the number of head for sale off some seventy percent this week.

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