Dave Louthan says he remembers her well: an old dairy cow with specks of blood on her tail, spooky about going down the ramp into the slaughterhouse.
The government says the discovery that the Holstein had mad-cow disease proves its surveillance program, which focuses on "downer" or nonambulatory cows, works. After last month's discovery, the U.S. Department of Agriculture banned downer cows in the food supply.
But Louthan says it was "a fluke" that the Holstein, a cow he describes as "a good walker," was tested.
And even if it had been deemed a downer, under emergency rules enacted earlier this month it would have been sent to a rendering plant, where tests are not done at all.