Mad Cow Doesn't Scare Folks in Region 8

December 24, 2003 -- Posted at 1:39 p.m. CST

JONESBORO--A cow that was slaughtered in Washington state is believed to have been infected with Mad Cow disease...marking the first case in the United States. Already eight foreign countries have pulled U.S. beef from their shelves and are banning any imported U.S. beef from coming in. But at Bill's Fresh Market in Jonesboro, the meat is plentiful, and the shoppers are merry...

"We hadn't had any concerns yet, it's an isolated case on the west coast and everything we've got in here comes from different packers from different parts of the country, so people seem to be buying beef like they usually do," said store owner, Bill Orr.

Although the Mad Cow disease appears to be an isolated incident, folks here in Region 8 don't seem to be too worried about it.
Chris Treece said he wasn't worried yet, and planned to do his Christmas dinner shopping the same as ever.
"I'm not concerned: I'm not really concerned about it yet. I think with our governments standards we can pretty much take care of the situation," said Treece.
Wesley Abernathy was out shopping for meat for his companies party. He said his employees are meat eaters and would eat nothing else.
"You know if it gets past the west coast I would worry about it. You know this area, I don't think we get our beef from the west coast, or anyone out there...we're kind of home right here. So until it gets around here I'm not going to be concerned about that," said Wesley as he pushed a shopping cart filled with steaks.
"I heard about it this morning, and I'm kind of leery about it, but I think most of it's going to be all right, because they isolating it and everything else. But I'm fixing to buy some beef right now, and I'm not scared," said Raz Perez.

The 175 billion dollar beef industry in the United states could suffer if the disease were to spread. but officials don't' expect that to happen.
Mark Thomas of the National Cattlemen's Association said, "The U.S. beef supply is safe, the confidence of U.S. consumers is high and we think it will continue to be high."

The plant that slaughtered the cow has already voluntarily recalled more than 10,000 pounds of raw beef.