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Food safety

Seventh case of mad cow disease confirmed in Canada

Friday, July 14, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: food safety, health news, Natural News


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(NewsTarget) Canada has reported seven cases of mad cow disease since 2003, two of which were announced within the past two weeks.

Thursday's case, a 4-year-old dairy cow that died on a farm in Western Alberta, prompted U.S. Department of Agriculture officials to send an inspector to investigate the death. Inspectors say 170 head of cattle, born within a year and on the same farm as this latest case, will now be tested for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease.

Mike Johanns, U.S. agriculture secretary, said this death and the other fatal infection of BSE that occurred in Alberta last week "raise questions that must be answered." The primary concern from BSE-infected cows is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a fatal nerve disease in humans caused by the consumption of BSE-infected meat. The rare variant is thought to have caused 150 deaths, mainly in Britain

Shipments of meat from Canada have been banned by the United States since the first reported cases occurred in 2003. The ban, which the Canadian Cattlemen's Association estimated had cost them $5.6 million, was partially lifted last July for cows younger than 30 months.

United Stockgrowers of America President Chuck Kiker said the move came too soon.

"In order to protect the U.S. cattle herd and U.S. beef consumers, USDA must ... close the Canadian border to all beef and cattle, and work with Canada to scientifically determine the full scope of Canada's BSE problem through mandatory testing of at least every high-risk animal in Canada," he said in a statement.

In 1997, the Canadian government banned the use of cattle parts in certain animal feeds, and last month extended the ban to include all types of feed, pet food and fertilizers. Government officials say that, despite this ban, BSE cases will likely continue to surface.

The cow's body was incinerated before it could enter the human or animal feed system, officials from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced, and senior veterinarian George Luterbach assured consumers that any milk from the cow that had already been sold posed no risk.

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