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From: TSS ()
Subject: R-CALF Cattle Alert: Canada Decreases BSE Testing by 28%
Date: April 30, 2005 at 4:44 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: R-CALF Cattle Alert: Canada Decreases BSE Testing by 28%
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 18:51:34 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

4/28/2005 6:52:00 PM

R-CALF Cattle Alert: Canada Decreases BSE Testing by 28%

(Billings, Mont.)  Despite the discovery of bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE) found in four Canadian cattle in the past two years
 two of those cases being announced in January  the number of Canadian
cattle being tested for BSE per month has substantially decreased,
making it impossible to monitor the effectiveness of Canadas BSE
risk-mitigation measures.

Reports by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) show that Canada
tested 7,088 cattle for BSE during December 2004, while the average
number tested per month for January, February and March totaled only
5,258 cattle per month  a 28 percent drop, noted Leo McDonnell, R-CALF
USA president and co-founder. At this slow rate of testing, even a
relatively large BSE problem may remain hidden for many months or years.

Canada has maintained that if it tested 30,000 cattle per year, it would
be able to detect one BSE case in a million, but Canada has not yet
tested this many cattle per year, and yet four cases have been detected
under far less testing. This suggests a BSE prevalence rate
significantly higher than 1 per million.

Statistically, the detection sensitivity of a testing program is driven
by the number of cattle tested per month, not the size of the herd,
said nationally renowned disease risk-assessment expert Louis Anthony
Cox Jr., Ph.D., of Cox Associates in Denver, Colo. Canada would have to
double its testing rate, then double it again, then double it yet a
third time to reach parity with the U.S. in the level of scrutiny being
given to cattle to protect consumers and the cattle industry against BSE.

Just as the accuracy of a political poll depends only on the number of
people interviewed rather than on the total number of voters, so the
accuracy with which the prevalence rate of BSE-positive tests among
inspected cattle can be determined depends only on the number of cattle
tested, rather than on the total size of the herds, explained Cox. In
both cases, what matters is just the proportion of the respondents that
indicate a certain result.

Canadas BSE test results to date suggest a possible true BSE
prevalence rate greater than about 5.5 case per million head of cattle,
which is the same order of magnitude as the BSE incidence rate found in
countries considered to have a serious BSE problem, such as France and
Germany, Cox continued. Moreover, unlike those countries, there is no
historical trend in BSE testing results in Canada to indicate that the
rate of BSE infection in the Canadian herd is decreasing.

R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard said that the World Organization for Animal
Health (OIE) will not allow countries with a BSE prevalence rate of two
cases per million head of native cattle to be classified as minimal BSE

Even if a country met all of the other OIE criteria for minimal BSE
risk status  which Canada does not  a country must also have found
its BSE prevalence rate to be less than two cases per million head
during each of the last four consecutive 12-month periods to qualify as
a minimal BSE risk, Bullard pointed out.

In contrast, the United States continues to test at the rate of over
45,000 cattle per month, but has never detected BSE in its domestic
herd. Additionally, the U.S. already has exceeded its plans to test
268,500 domestic high-risk cattle  those animals judged most likely to
exhibit BSE if the disease were present.

As of April 8, 2005, the U.S. had tested more than 305,000 of the
446,000 cattle targeted for testing, with no cases of BSE detected. At
Canadas recently reduced rate of testing, it would take approximately
51 months (268,500/5258) to achieve the same level of inspection (number
of cattle tested) that the U.S. achieved in the first quarter of 2005,
according to Cox.

All other BSE-affected countries  following initial detection of BSE
in their native herds  immediately begin a mandatory testing program
that includes testing all high-risk cattle over the age at which tests
results are meaningful, and/or cattle subject to normal slaughter,
McDonnell said. Canadas testing program cannot provide a science-based
estimate of its BSE prevalence rate, and it follows none of the crucial
protocols established by other BSE-affected countries.

As a result of these inadequate policies  along with multiple
discoveries of BSE  its very likely that additional BSE-positive
cattle exist in the Canadian herd but arent being detected, and
Canadas decision to reduce BSE testing after the two most recent cases
could indicate that adequate testing may not be forthcoming.

The table below compares Canadas testing program to those of other
BSE-affected countries reporting fewer than 30 cases of BSE since 2003.
It illustrates the inadequacy of Canadas surveillance program and the
testing gap between Canada and other countries. The chart also reveals
both the inadequacy of Canadas testing program when compared to
international BSE surveillance practices as well as the
inappropriateness of estimating Canadas BSE incidence rate based on
Canadas adult cattle population. Canadas testing data is simply
insufficient to accurately estimate Canadas BSE prevalence, but the
data that is available when contrasted with other countries that have
tested far more cattle, suggests that Canadas BSE prevalence cannot be
characterized as low. This deficiency is particularly obvious when
comparing the number of BSE tests conducted as a percentage of each
countrys adult cattle population.


Adult Cattle Population

High-Risk Cattle Tested Per Year

Cattle Subject to Normal Slaughter Tested

Total Cattle Tested Per Year

No. of BSE Cases Reported Since 2003




None reported























See Note 18

See Note 18





















R-CALF recommends that Canada begin testing hundreds of thousands of
cattle on an annual basis  rather than the mere tens of thousands
Canada is proposing  as the only means by which Canada can conclude
that its prevalence rate is not as high as those of countries considered
to have a serious BSE problem, Bullard said. Until  and unless 
Canada begins a statistically meaningful BSE surveillance program, every
country will lack crucial scientific data needed to assess the risk of
accepting beef and cattle from Canada.

Note: To view the complete report titled Inadequacy of Canadas BSE
Surveillance Program, log on to:
and click BSE-Litigation.

on the other hand, if you don't use the most sensitive testing
i.e. WB, and you then render the stumbling and staggering
ones, you will remain BSE free, unless someone accidentally
caps a sub clinical BSE case, as with the one dave capped.
therefore, in reality, the USA has about the same number
of BSE mad cows documented as Canada if you count
the pos., pos., incl. that were found neg. WITHOUT WB,
AND the one that got away in TEXAS, that stumbling
and staggering cow they ordered rendered without testing
at all. ...

Q&A Dr. Jean-Philippe Deslys USDA REFUSAL TO USE WB

TSS, Fri Apr 22 12:15


* Re: Q&A Dr. Jean-Philippe Deslys USDA REFUSAL TO USE WB

Anonymous, Fri Apr 22 12:15


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