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From: TSS (
Subject: Re: Mad cow case linked to feed Canada's second case
Date: January 25, 2005 at 8:57 am PST

In Reply to: Mad cow case linked to feed Canada's second case posted by TSS on January 24, 2005 at 5:47 pm:

Inspectors leaving no cat dish unturned in checking cattle feed for BSE

Sandra Cordon
Canadian Press

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

OTTAWA (CP) - No feed bag - or cat dish - will be left unturned as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency probes what cattle on a central Alberta farm may have eaten to trigger a case of mad cow disease.

Federal inspectors will even comb through the kibble fed to barn cats for possible traces of BSE, Brian Evans, chief veterinary officer for the CFIA said Monday.

The agency is looking into whether an Alberta cow discovered with the brain-wasting disease on Jan. 11 might have gotten BSE from contaminated feed after a sweeping federal ban was implemented to avoid just such a problem.

"We're being very meticulous and thorough, covering everything from all the feed that moved on to that farm - including the cat food that was fed to the barn cats," Evans told a news conference.

"I think it's important that we not close off any opportunity here to be as thorough as we can possibly be."

It's believed that mad cow is spread through infected animal parts that were added to animal feed before the ban.

The suspect parts are still allowed in other feed, including pet food.

A team of U.S. experts was also to arrive Monday in Canada to conduct its own probe.

It will be working under new U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, who took the job Monday replacing Ann Veneman.

"Needless to say we're jumping on this," said Johanns, who has agreed to participate in a Senate committee hearing Feb. 3 on Canada's mad cow cases and whether it is complying with cattle feed rules.

"It is my goal here to make sure. . .that I look at what the team finds in Canada, that I make sure that my briefings are thorough, and that I've got all the information at my disposal," Johanns said in Washington.

Evans welcomed the U.S. team, calling it an opportunity to prove the safety of Canada's system to experts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Washington's agriculture department.

He said he's confident the border will still open in early March, as previously promised, to live Canadian cattle exports.

"The (U.S. agriculture department) has not indicated any reluctance at this point to move forward with the March 7 rule," said Evans.

Some have feared that with two new Canadian cases of BSE - bovine spongiform encephalopathy - discovered this month, reopening of the border might again be delayed.

The closure has cost Canadian cattlemen about $5 billion, economists estimate.

The U.S. inspectors will want to study the original 1997 rules put in place to prevent protein from cattle that might have been contaminated with BSE from getting into feed, said Evans.

They'll also examine how well Canadian authorities monitored feed mills and retailers as well as producers after 1997 to ensure the feed ban was followed.

After the ban was announced, ranchers were given a grace period to get rid of old feed but during that period, some cattle still alive today might have eaten feed containing animal protein marked with BSE.


Other countries with similar feed bans, including the U.S., also set grace periods for getting rid of old feed and now face similar questions, said Evans.

Some herd mates of the cow discovered on Jan. 11 with the disease have been tested and results have so far been negative, he said.

In the other case of a dairy cow found with the disease on Jan. 2, no other animal from its herd was found to be contaminated, he added.

Some U.S. cattlemen are protesting the reopening of the border, saying it could endanger U.S producers and consumers.

Senate legislation Monday was introduced to keep the border closed to live cattle imports until the U.S. implements country-of-origin labelling of food beginning next year.
© The Canadian Press 2005

Canada Links Feed To Mad-Cow Case
January 25, 2005; Page A14

CALGARY, Alberta -- Canadian government investigators have tied cattle-feed containing ruminant remains to Canada's second homegrown case of mad-cow disease, and are focusing on feed in their investigation of the most-recent case of the disease formally called bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency chief veterinarian Brian Evans said the investigation into the BSE case discovered Jan. 2 has determined from farm and feed-mill records that the infected eight-year-old Alberta dairy cow was exposed early in its life to feed containing meat and bone-meal from ruminant animals such as cattle, which experts consider the most likely sources of BSE contamination.

The agency said the investigation has fully traced the infected dairy cow's birth cohort and its recently born offspring, and that testing has revealed no further BSE cases. To date, testing of animals related to the case of a six-year-old Alberta beef cow confirmed with BSE on Jan. 11 also has been negative for BSE.

Canada, along with the U.S., banned ruminant meat and bone meal from cattle-feed in August 1997 -- a few months after investigators postulate that the dairy cow became infected. The infected beef cow was born shortly after the ban, but Mr. Evans said it could have eaten contaminated feed produced before the ban and held in storage.

Canada's two most-recent cases of mad-cow disease were discovered within days of the U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiling a plan to resume imports of young cattle from Canada. Despite opposition to the proposal, the USDA has said it will stick to its plan to reopen the border in March.

Yesterday, a USDA spokesman said the department hasn't changed its position. He said it had just dispatched a team to Canada to begin working with a Canadian team on a Canadian government-ordered audit of Canada's cattle-feed regulations.,,SB110661646034834845,00.html?mod=americas_business_whats_news


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