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From: TSS (
Subject: Canada confirms its second case of BSE (also questions about the rapid test the US uses) NEW SCIENTIST]
Date: January 7, 2005 at 3:22 pm PST

Canada confirms its second case of BSE

* 08 January 2005
* From New Scientist Print Edition.

CANADA has confirmed its second case of BSE. The affected dairy cow was
born in the province of Alberta, just like the only other cases of mad
cow disease discovered in North America: one in Canada in 2003 and one
in the US in the same year.

Also like the previous cases, the infected cow was born and probably
infected before 1997. This was the year when feeding cattle with the
remains of other cattle, a practice that spreads BSE, was banned in
North America.

The discovery highlights concerns about surveillance for BSE in the US.
The infection probably arrived with cattle imported from the UK in the
1980s. Normal patterns of animal and feed movements should have spread
it across the continent since then. Yet while in 2004 Canada tested
22,000 high-risk cattle and found one positive, the US tested more than
120,000 and found none.

BSE testing is voluntary in the US, and consumer activists say that
cattle with symptoms that suggest they might have BSE are not being sent
for tests. There are also questions about the rapid test the US uses,
which has a higher rate of inconclusive results than the test used in

From issue 2481 of New Scientist magazine, 08 January 2005, page 4


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