Animal From Canada Mad Cow Herd May Have Reached U.S.
(Note: It almost seems that the USDA and its Canadian counterpart want BSE to come to America -- why else would they be INSISTING that the border be opened on March 7th to allow beef from a country that cannot account for a substantial number of contaminated cattle?)
January 7, 2005
By Daniel Goldstein firstname.lastname@example.org and Christopher Donville email@example.com
Steve Stroth, editor firstname.lastname@example.org
(Bloomberg) - The Canadian government said that an animal -- raised with an 8-year-old cow that had mad cow disease -- may have been sent to the U.S.
An initial investigation suggests that one cow from the infected cow's birth "cohort'' of 141 animals may have gone to the U.S., Gary Little, senior veterinarian with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, told reporters in a conference call from Ottawa.
There may be others, he said, while declining to be more specific.
"It is too early to speculate on how many animals and their BSE-status,'' Little said, referring to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the scientific name for the disease.
Little said nine dairy cows from the birth cohort -- animals born on the same farm and within a year of the infected animal -- have been located and will be slaughtered and tested for BSE.
The agency on January 2 confirmed Canada's second case of the brainwasting livestock illness, in a dairy cow in Alberta.
The country's first BSE case, disclosed in May 2003, prompted the U.S. and dozens of other nations to ban cattle and beef from Canada.
The only known U.S. case was in a cow found in Washington state in December 2003 [that was] later traced to Canada.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on December 29 said it planned to allow Canada to resume shipments of live cattle under 30 months of age -- and to ship beef from cattle of any age -- as of March 7, 2005.
Agriculture Department officials later said Canada's second BSE case would not change their intentions.
Officials from both countries say all three infected animals probably contracted the disease, which has a fatal human variant, by eating feed that contained the ground-up parts of another infected animal.
All three cows were born before the U.S. and Canada banned that feeding practice in August 1997.
Canadian officials are trying to locate animals from the birth cohort because they probably ate the same feed as the infected cow.
The USDA is helping in the search, Little said.
[USDA] spokesman Ed Loyd declined immediate comment.
The cohort consists of 38 dairy cows, 55 male animals born from dairy cows, and 48 beef cattle.
Little said 28 of the dairy cows are unaccounted for.
The males born from dairy cows were probably slaughtered at a young age, and thus at little risk for carrying BSE, he said.
Beef from the slaughtered animals probably entered the human food chain, he said.
Copyright 2005, Bloomberg.com.