Friday, February 29, 2008

Mad Cow Disease in Canada

Canada confirmed a new case of mad cow disease on Tuesday, the 12th. The animal in question was a six-year-old dairy cow from Alberta that had most probably eaten infected feed. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which vows to eradicate bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) within a decade, has consistently said it expects to find a few cases of the disease. The CFIA said no part of the animal had entered the human or animal food supply. The cow was born after Canada and the United States introduced a ban in 1997 on cattle feed that contained ingredients made from rendered cattle and other ruminants. At least four other cases have involved animals born after 1997. "Many trading partners in the past have shut their borders to Canadian cattle and beef products after the first home-grown case in 2003, dealing a massive blow to the industry, and Ottawa has fought hard to restore market confidence. Last May the World Organization for Animal Health relaxed its security rating on both the United States and Canada, classifying both nations as controlled risk in a sign it was happy with their efforts to combat BSE. "This case will not affect Canada's controlled risk country status," the CFIA said in a statement. "Based on science, it is not expected that this case should impact access to any of Canada's current international markets for cattle and beef." Mexico noted last Friday that it would soon lift a ban on Canadian cattle imports that dated back to 2003. Here's the link to the article.

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