Published Date: 2003-06-04 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> BSE, bovine - Canada (Alberta) (08)
Archive Number: 20030604.1362
BSE, BOVINE - CANADA (ALBERTA) (08)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail, a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 3 Jun 2003
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Reuters [edited]
The sweeping probe into Canada's mad cow crisis has entered a
make-or-break stage, with officials saying on Monday they could
pinpoint the source farm of the country's only confirmed case within
2 days, helping to allay fears of an outbreak.
More than 1160 animals from 12 farms have been killed and sent for
testing, and 700 of those deemed free of the brain-wasting disease.
The single case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), discovered
2 weeks ago, prompted worldwide bans on Canadian cattle and beef and
sent the export-dependent industry into a tailspin.
"The next 36 hours will be a very critical time for us in terms of
the quantity and significance of the test results we will be
receiving," Brian Evans, Canada's chief veterinarian, said in Ottawa.
"If things progress in the way they have been progressing, if we are
able to definitively name a source farm through the results coming
forward in the DNA side of the house ... I think later this week we
will be very much in a position to fully define the scope of the
With the industry losing as much as C$27.5 million ( US $20 million)
a day in revenues because of the export bans, and its global
reputation in tatters, such results could not come soon enough for
ranchers, feed lot operators, processors, and truckers, especially in
Alberta, Canada's top cattle region.
About 1900 cows have been quarantined and targeted for tests, and
Evans said another farm connected with Canada's first mad cow case in
a decade -- an animal in Alberta that was slaughtered in January 2003
-- may be sealed off.
Those cows shared a common source of feed with one in Saskatchewan
where the confirmed case lived for 4 years. Cows in that herd have
already tested negative for BSE.
3 quarantines were lifted on the weekend, leaving 14 herds isolated.
They include the herd where the sick cow was discovered, others where
its offspring lived, and 3 where chicken and pig feed made from its
rendered remains was purchased.
Meanwhile, authorities invited a panel of experts from the United
States, Switzerland, and New Zealand to audit results of the
investigation and review Canada's detection policies in hopes that
bans on shipments, especially to the key U.S. market, are lifted
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has been in talks with
Canadian officials on the export ban, has not put a timeline on when
it may be lifted, or loosened to allow products not affected by BSE.
"There's still a lot of epidemiological information that has yet to
be completed," USDA spokeswoman Alisa Harrison said. Finding the herd
where the sick cow was born is key, she said.
Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief said Ottawa is negotiating access
to U.S. markets for Canadian live and slaughtered veal.
About 3.7 million cattle were slaughtered in Britain's mad cow
outbreak. The disease was believed to have been spread by feed
tainted with remains of infected animals, a manufacturing practice
that is banned in North America.
[Byline: Jeffery Jones]
(With reporting by Richard Cowan in Washington and Gilbert Le Gras in Ottawa)