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Alabama Tries To Buy Imported Cattle

A rancher who owns the nation’s largest herd of British cattle is driving a hard bargain with the state of Alabama, which wants to buy and destroy the animals in case they have been exposed to mad cow disease.

Forrest Ingram of Vinemont is seeking about $600,000 for 29 Charolais cattle, which were brought into the country before fears of the illness prompted a federal import ban, said Dr. Lee Alley, the state veterinarian.

The state, by law, can condemn and take the cattle, but must pay a fair price. And it doesn’t think $600,000 is fair, even though Ingram’s cattle have shown no signs of the illness in four years of testing, Alley said.

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