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In 2008, the United States had the largest recall of beef in its history. 1 The event unfolded as a result of undercover video of nonambulatory (downer) cows being abused, which eventually led to a lack of confidence that downer cows were indeed being excluded from the human food supply. Although the actions exhibited by plant workers were unconscionable, the issues of downer cattle (at time of arrival at a packing plant or during holding prior to slaughter) and cattle condemned because they are not fit for human consumption remain constant concerns. What has not been discussed sufficiently are

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

The US dairy industry is moving toward fewer dairy farms with more cattle per farm. Between 1995 and 2005, the number of dairy farms decreased by 43.9% (from 139,670 to 78,295), but the total number of milk cows decreased by only 4.5% (from 9.47 to 9.04 million). 1 Consequently, the average herd size for dairies in the United States has almost doubled during the past 10 years.

It has become difficult for dairy farms to be completely self-sufficient, self-contained production units. Large dairy farms are at risk of exposure to disease agents from external sources of labor, feedstuffs, replacement

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association