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From: TSS ()
Subject: AN estimated 2,450 cattle on 26 farms in Quebec remain under movement restrictions due to potential BSE feeding
Date: January 3, 2007 at 11:24 am PST

Update - Restrictions Removed from Ontario Cattle

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is removing movement restrictions recently placed on approximately 7,700 cattle located on 83 farms in Ontario and four farms in Quebec after determining that they were not exposed to potentially contaminated feed.

The Agency imposed the movement restrictions on November 18, 2006, after a load of cattle feed ingredient suspected of containing a very small amount of meat and bone meal was reportedly distributed to two feed mills in Ontario and Quebec. Feed from these mills was then distributed to 113 farms.

As a precaution, all potentially exposed animals were placed under movement control pending a full assessment of the situation. Information subsequently collected and validated has determined that the portion of the feed ingredient delivered to the mill in Ontario did not contain any of the potentially contaminated material.

An estimated 2,450 cattle on 26 farms in Quebec remain under movement restrictions. The Agency is currently conducting further analysis at the feed mill and on farms to determine if any of these animals did not consume the feed of concern and can be excluded from movement controls.

Animals remaining under restriction have been determined to pose no food safety or animal health risks. Their identification and monitoring allows Canada to continue to meet the technical certification requirements of certain trading partners.

Canada clears most cattle in suspect feed case
Wed Jan 3, 2007 1:06 PM EST

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canadian veterinary officials lifted restrictions on about 7,700 cattle on Wednesday that had been part of a contaminated feed investigation after confirming they did not eat suspect foodstuff.

But another 2,450 cattle remain confined to 26 farms in Quebec while officials study how many of them ate feed that may have contained trace amounts of meat and bone meal made from cattle -- material banned from cattle feed because of the risk of spreading bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease.

The chance that the cattle could develop mad cow disease is remote, said Brian Evans of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canada's chief veterinarian.

"The potential for BSE infectivity is very, very low," Evans said, noting most of the animals are mature dairy cattle.

Canada has had eight cases of mad cow disease in its domestic herd since May 2003, and hopes to eradicate the disease within a decade.

Humans can develop a rare form of the fatal brain-wasting disease from eating contaminated meat, and 200 people worldwide have died from it, mainly during a British outbreak of BSE in the 1980s.

The restricted cattle can be slaughtered and consumed in Canada, where food safety rules ban all brains, spines and other material that can harbor mad cow disease.

The latest incident began in mid-November when Cargill Ltd. shipped a feed ingredient in a rail car that had not been completely cleaned out after previously containing meat and bone meal.

Veterinary officials ruled the meat and bone meal left in the car was very small, and are still studying whether the feed ingredient shipped in the car was actually added to any feed rations before the mistake was uncovered.

Cargill recalled and destroyed feed from two mills that had distributed it to 113 farms in Ontario and Quebec, but the CFIA has since determined that only one of the mills received the suspect feed ingredient.

All the cattle involved in the investigation have been permanently identified using Canada's national tracing system.

Cargill has assured the farmers they would not be economically harmed by the incident.

The CFIA has asked scientific experts in Europe and Asia to review its investigation findings.

Peer reviews received to date have endorsed the agency's actions, Evans said.


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