Canada Confirms Another Case of Mad Cow
Wednesday, August 23, 2006 4:11 PM EDT
The Associated Press
By ROB GILLIES
TORONTO (AP) — Canada confirmed mad cow disease in an animal on an Alberta farm Wednesday, the country's eighth case of a terminal ailment that has roiled its livestock industry.
The latest case was found in a dairy cow between eight and 10 years of age, Canada's Food Inspection Agency said.
The agency says exposure to the terminal disease likely occurred before or during the introduction of new feed regulations that were supposed to stop the spread of the disease.
Shipments of cattle to the United States were halted in 2003 after the first reported cases of mad cow in Canada. Trade in cows younger than 30 months resumed last year.
Last month, the U.S. suspended plans to increase imports of beef and cattle from Canada over concerns about an infected cow born in 2002, five years after Canada enacted safeguards against mad cow disease.
At issue is a ban on using cattle remains in cattle feed, the primary firewall against the spread of mad cow disease. The only known way for cattle to get the disease is by eating feed containing diseased cattle tissue, a practice largely outlawed in Canada and the United States in 1997.
George Luterbach, an animal scientist with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said the latest cases should not have any repercussions with trading partners.
"These cases are the result of a very robust surveillance program," Luterbach said. "These cases are very few and far between."
Having tested 60,000 cattle last year, Luterbach said the agency is confident that mad cow is not a common in Canada or something that is growing.
The Canadian Cattlemen's Association estimated its 90,000 members had lost more than $5.6 billion since 2003.
Mad cow disease is the common name for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, a brain-wasting disorder. Humans can get a related disease, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, by eating meat contaminated with mad cow.
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I believe the last one originally came from the U.S. even though Canada took the heat.
...is much worse than is being reported. But, to save all of the obvious people from attacking me for speaking the truth, I will say that we will see how the future pans out.