Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., has introduced legislation that would more narrowly define downer cows. It would exclude from the current slaughter-ban animals that can't walk because of "fatigue, stress, obduator nerve paralysis, obesity, one or more broken or fractured appendages, severed tendons or ligaments, or dislocated joints."
    Supporters say the current ban on all downer cows costs farmers millions of dollars, while doing nothing to protect consumers. Others fear changing the definition would send the wrong message to the public and foreign nations that import U.S. beef.