In the wake of the United States’ first—and single—bovine spongiform encephalopathy case an animal activist group has convince a federal appeals court to take another look at a lawsuit concerning non-abulatory livestock.

The New York based group, Farm Sanctuary, is initiating the action to prevent the sale and processing of downer livestock. The group claims federal livestock and meat inspectors aren't doing enough to protect the American food supply from BSE. Farm Sanctuary officials contend that allowing downed animals to move through the slaughter process puts consumers at risk.

In the case of the Washington cow, tissues from the animal’s central nervous system was rendered, but the meat did enter regular channels. USDA spokeswoman Julie Quick, told, that every immobile animal delivered to a market goes through a pre-death and post-death inspection. Any animal showing possible symptoms of neurological disease is screened for BSE.

Earlier in 2003, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that would forbid meat from downed animals from entering the food supply, but the measure failed in the House. A trial court previously dismissed the “downer” lawsuit that the Farm Sanctuary, and animal rights activist Michael Baur, filed. On Dec. 16, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's decision, which sends the back for further consideration.