Canada Finds Suspected Case of Mad Cow
(Note: The USDA isn't going to let continued sick cows stop it from its agenda to globalize, i.e., erase sovereign borders -- no matter how many people are put in harm's way because of such actions.)
December 30, 2004
By David Ljunggren

Ottawa, Canada (Reuters) - Canada on Thursday said it had found a suspected new case of mad cow disease, although the United States said it would not change plans to resume limited Canadian cattle imports after a devastating 20-month ban.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said the 10-year-old dairy cow had not entered the human or animal feed systems. Final test results will be ready in the next three to five days.

Ottawa announced the news one day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it planned to reopen the border on March 7 for the import of Canadian cattle under 30 months of age.

A USDA official said the new suspected case is not expected to affect those plans.

Last month, the United States announced a suspected case of mad cow disease but it turned out to be a false alarm.

"Preliminary BSE testing results completed late on December 29, 2004, have identified a suspect 10-year-old dairy cow," Canada's inspection agency said in a statement.

"Although the finding is not definitive, multiple screening tests have yielded positive results. No part of the animal entered the human food or animal feed systems," it added.

The statement did not say where the animal was located.

The news is bound to raise fresh fears among Canadian cattle farmers that there could be new delays in lifting the U.S. import ban, estimated by some experts to have cost C$5 billion ($4.1 billion).

Humans can contract a version of mad cow disease by eating contaminated beef.

The Canadian dollar, which was badly hit in 2003 after the first case of the disease was uncovered, barely moved against its U.S. counterpart in early trading.

In December 2003, an older cow exported from Canada to the United States was diagnosed with BSE.

Canada says that animal -- and the one discovered in May 2003 -- were both born before tighter feed rules came into force in 1997.

"If BSE is confirmed in this (latest) case, consumption of contaminated feed before 1997 remains the most likely route of transmission," the CFIA said.

It said testing had been conducted after the cow was identified as a "downer," or a high-risk animal.

The CFIA will be holding a briefing at 11 a.m. EDT (1600 GMT) on Thursday to give more details.

Washington imposed its ban on Canadian imports in May 2003 after a case of mad cow disease was discovered in the western Canadian province of Alberta, prompting Ottawa to vastly increase the number of tests it carried out on animals considered to be high-risk.

Canadian and U.S. officials said they both expected further cases of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy could be uncovered by the tests.

(With additional reporting by Richard Cowan in Washington)

Copyright 2004, Reuters.