Local farmers ‘not worried’ about scare sweeping U.S.

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2003

When the cattlemen of West Alabama converge on the Alabama Livestock Auction this Tuesday in Uniontown Jimmy Sealy thinks that the volume of cattle being sold will be higher than normal, but the prices will lower due to the mad cow scare in Washington State.

Phil Robison agrees with Sealy about the prices being lower than usual. "If people are selling their cows for cheap prices, I’m going to buy them," Robison said.

County Communications Director for the Marengo County Farmers Federation, Stanley Walters agrees with both Sealy and Robison about the price dropping for cattle, but Walters feels that the media has played a huge part in blowing this scare way out of proportion and scaring people and foreign countries away from the American Beef Industry.

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What does this scare mean to the cattlemen of West Alabama? Will the market for beef become like it is in Europe, nonexistent?

Sealy and Robison agree that the case in Washington State was a one time flash in the pan event that wasn’t even an American cow, but an Canadian cow and none of them are worried about the disease. "I’m not worried about it," Sealy said.

On the other hand, Walters talks about the science behind the disease called Mad Cow.

Walters thinks that the $2 billion Alabama beef industry will suffer devastating losses in the beginning thanks to the media’s handling of this one case of Mad Cow disease.

Sealy and Robison both agree that the effects on the Alabama Beef Industry should be huge, but they both feel that at the local auctions the price will go down for about three to six weeks then every thing should be back to normal.

Walters also thinks that the government needs to step in so that the cattlemen of Alabama do not have to suffer for something that wasn’t started here.

Robison and Sealy both think that times will be bad, but once they find the rest of the cows in Canada that have Mad Cow everything should be ok.

Walters says that as long as foreign countries have a ban on American beef, the people of Alabama will suffer.

Finally, Walters says if anyone is thinking of not eating beef anymore because of this scare than you need to rethink that idea.