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From: TSS (
Subject: Animal From Canada Mad Cow Herd May Have Reached U.S. (Update3)
Date: January 7, 2005 at 3:08 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Animal From Canada Mad Cow Herd May Have Reached U.S. (Update3)
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 15:55:17 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

Animal From Canada Mad Cow Herd May Have Reached U.S. (Update3)

Jan. 7 (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 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.

Some U.S. lawmakers and a ranchers group have cited Canada's second case
of mad cow disease, confirmed Jan. 2, as a reason to scuttle plans to
ease a 19-month-old import ban on Canadian cattle. Tyson Foods Inc. and
National Beef Packing Co. said they will cut beef production in the U.S.
partly because of tight animal supplies.

`Very Low Risk'

Beef from some of the animals being traced may have gotten into the
human food chain, Little said. Those animals ``represent a very low
risk,'' he said, as ``multiple cases in the same birth cohort is rare.''

``What we can't say is that's a zero risk,'' he said. ``That doesn't

The U.S. imposed its import ban on cattle and beef from Canada in May
2003 after a cow with BSE was found in Alberta. The only known U.S. case
was in a dairy animal found in Washington state in December 2003 and
later traced to Canada. Canada normally ships about 1.7 million cattle
across the border, or about 5 percent of the annual U.S. slaughter.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Dec. 29 said it would 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. Agriculture Department
officials later said Canada's second BSE case would not change their

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.

Search Under Way

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. Department 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

U.S. Senators Conrad Burns of Montana and Kent Conrad of North Dakota,
along with Representative Henry Waxman, of California, urged the
Agriculture Department to delay its decision about opening the border to
Canadian cattle, citing alleged lax enforcement of the feed ban. Conrad
and Waxman are Democrats; Burns is a Republican.

In a letter to Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns, who has been nominated as
U.S. Agriculture Secretary, Conrad and Waxman said Food and Drug
Administration inspectors have found animal protein in cattle feed,
which could spread BSE.

The lawmakers said there was ``major non-compliance'' with Canadian feed
rules by seven Canadian mills, citing FDA documents.


To contact the reporters on this story:
Daniel Goldstein in Washington at and Christopher Donville in Vancouver at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Steve Stroth at

Last Updated: January 7, 2005 16:27 EST

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