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Animal Disease and Human Health Risk

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In 1991 the Wall Street Journal captured the attention of its readership with a health segment entitled "AIDS Cousin Infects Cattle."128 The Journal went on to depreciate any potential risk from "Cow AIDS." Their reporting was accurate; so far, medical research has not raised any grave concerns about this disease.129

However, there are worrisome features about the virus. Some evidence of immune alteration has been observed in infected cows.130 Cross-species transmission of the virus to sheep, rabbits, and goats has also been demonstrated.131 This combination of factors raises similar concerns to those I have expressed with regard to the bovine leukemia virus. In view of this, combined with the reality of the long incubation period of HIV, I raise concern about the long-term health effects of this agent, particularly if it ultimately proves to be transmissible to humans.

Since BIV can affect the immune function of cattle and can cross species boundaries, it seems prudent to take measures to avoid this virus until we are certain there is no human risk. In fact some, such as Jeremy Rifkind from the Foundation for Economic Trends, have advocated that BIV-infected cows should not be milked or taken to slaughter until the long-term human health implications of this virus are clarified. I am sure that many in the livestock industry feel this is unnecessary. But in other countries such as Switzerland, this is exactly what is being done, as described in Figure 22: Switzerland's Protection Against BIV.

Switzerland has also been concerned about the similarities between BIV and HIV. Until long-term studies clarify the issues, they do not want to expose their citizens to these infectious agents found in cattle or their milk.

Most Food Poisoning Involves Animal Products

Animal products are not the only products that can be contaminated with bacteria. However, the vast majority of infected foods are red meat, dairy products, fowl, eggs, and seafood, according to the Center for Disease Control's reports on infectious illnesses from foods. A significant decrease in these serious diseases would occur if a vegetarian diet were more widely adopted.

A summary list of the aforementioned diseases of animals that are a threat to the health of humans is shown in Figure 23: List of Aforementioned Diseases that are a Risk to Human Health.

128 Ingersoll B. AIDS Cousin Infects Cattle; No Danger Seen. The Wall Street Journal. 1991. Friday, May 31.

129 Van Der Maaten MJ, Whetstone CA. Studies of Cattle Naturally and Experimentally Infected with Bovine Lentivirus. Immunobiology of Viral Infections. Proc. 3rd Congress Europ. Soc. Vet. Virol. 1995. P. 353-357.

130 Van Der Maaten MJ. Update of Bovine Leukosis Virus and Bovine Immunodeficiency Virus. TNAVC 1993 Proceedings. Pages 614-615.

131 Archambault D, Nadin-Davis S, et al. The Bovine Immunodefeciency Virus: 1990-1992 Update. Vet Res 1993;24(2):179-187.

Notice of Credit
The article above is compliments of the Uchee Pines Institute, Seale, Alabama, a teaching and treatment facility devoted to natural remedies. For mor information, call 334-855-4781,e-mail:, or visit their Website:

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