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Sunnyside calves slaughtered

More than 450 bull calves, an entire operation belonging to a Sunnyside area family, were euthanized Tuesday as a precaution to stop the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

The calves were trucked to a slaughter plant that wasn't being used and were euthanized according to American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesperson.

The carcasses were disposed of in a landfill Jan. 7. None of the calves entered the human food chain.

Killing the calves is part of an ongoing investigation by the USDA. The governmental agency is still looking into where the more than 80 cows imported into the United States with the BSE infected cow are now at.

Nine of the cows remain at the Mabton dairy, where the infected cow was milked before it was slaughtered in December after sustaining injuries while giving birth.

Two additional cows imported along with the infected Holstein have been located at a Mattawa dairy finishing facility. Both the Mabton and Mattawa dairies have been quarantined.

The USDA is continuing traceback efforts of the other 69 cows unaccounted for. They are also seeking out the 17 cows known to have been in the infected cow's birth herd. It is believed that the 17 cows were also shipped to the United States, according to USDA officials.

. Melissa Browning can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail mbrowning@eaglenewspapers.com

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