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From: TSS ()
Subject: Federal Government's Gross Negligence Was The Cause Of Canada's Mad Cow Outbreak
Date: April 11, 2005 at 9:14 am PST

Federal Government's Gross Negligence Was The Cause Of Canada's
Mad Cow Outbreak

TORONTO, April 11 /CNW/ - The BSE crisis, the closing of the U.S. border
to Canadian cattle and beef, and the loss of billions of dollars by the
Canadian cattle industry, was the result of gross incompetence and negligence
on the part of the Canadian Government, says a group of lawyers representing
cattle producers from across Canada who have launched what could become the
largest class action in Canadian legal history.
The cattle producers, represented by Clint Docken, Q.C. of Calgary,
Reynold Robertson of Saskatoon, Gilles Gareau of Montreal and Cameron Pallett
of Toronto, claim that Agriculture Canada failed to consider safety issues
when compiling a list of permitted animal feed ingredients in 1988-1990 and
lost track of 80 cattle that had been imported from the UK and Ireland,
allowing them to be ground up into cattle feed. As a consequence, BSE infected
a number of Canadian cattle, which in turn led to devastating consequences for
the Canadian cattle industry.
"Two years after Great Britain banned the feeding of cattle remains to
other cattle in 1988, Agriculture Canada enacted a Regulation specifically
allowing it in Canada. Then, in 1990, they banned the importation of cattle
from the UK and Ireland, and catalogued the 191 cattle imported since 1982",
said Mr. Pallett. "Agriculture Canada then put those cattle into what they
called a 'monitoring' program." When Agriculture Canada decided to have a
closer look at those cattle in December 1993, after one of them was found to
have BSE, Department staff discovered that 80 of them had been ground up and
turned into cattle feed that had been sold to Canadian cattle farmers. "By the
government's own admission one or more of those 80 cattle are the most likely
source of BSE in Canada," said Mr. Pallett. "Where was the monitoring? Where
was the government's concern for the health of Canadians? Why did the
Government fail so badly in the exercise of its regulatory responsibilities?"
In addition to the Federal Government, the claim also targets Ridley
Corporation Limited, a multinational manufacturer of animal feeds. Ridley
apparently stopped using cattle remains in their parent company's cattle feed
in Australia in May of 1996, but continued to use cattle remains in their
Canadian feed products until the practice was finally banned by the Government
of Canada in August 1997. The claim alleges that the diseased cow that caused
the closing of the US border to Canadian cattle and beef, contracted BSE in
the spring of 1997 as a result of eating calf starter manufactured by Ridley
which contained rendered cattle remains contaminated with the BSE prion.
"Ridley knew the risks they were taking. They voluntarily stopped using
cattle remains in their feed products in Australia in May of 1996 after
discussions with Australian government representatives concerning the
potential disaster that would result if BSE became an issue for the Australian
cattle and beef export industry, which is the largest in the world. Ridley
figured they could get away with it here" said Mr. Pallett, "and hopefully
they will be proven wrong".
"Canadian cattle producers have lost seven billion dollars and counting
as a result of the BSE crisis and they deserve to be fully compensated", said
Mr. Pallett. He and his colleagues urge all Canadian cattle producers to visit
the BSE class action website for more information:

For further information: Cameron Pallett, Barrister & Solicitor, 800-65 St. Clair Ave. E., Toronto, Ontario, M4T 2Y3, Telephone: (416) 923-1776, Facsimile: (416) 925-5344,




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