Second mad cow from Canada

EDMONTON, (Jan. 8, 2004) — Truckers in the beef industry already suffering from an eight-month U.S. cattle ban had their fears confirmed on Tuesday when officials announced DNA results that proved the recent U.S. BSE-ridden cow came from Alberta.

The Bovine cow, discovered in Washington state just before Christmas, was born in Alberta in April 1997, three months before Canada and the U.S. banned the use of cattle feed flour made from animal remains that has been linked to BSE.

The Canadian Cattle industry has already lost a reported $2.3 billion since a cow was found to contain the disease last May, prompting the U.S. to shut down the border to live cattle.

While the test results are not expected to spark further restrictions on Canadian beef, the news has delayed indefinitely a possible U.S. decision to ease the current ban and allow calves under 30 months into the country. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicated it would not rule on Canadian cattle until the investigation into the recent mad cow case is complete.

Canadian beef and trucking officials have already warned an extended ban will force even more industry workers out of business. “We are in for a bumpy road in the cattle industry,” said the Alberta Motor Transport Association in a statement. “The only question is how painful is it going to be and how many will be hurt along the way.”

Meanwhile, the province of Alberta has indicated it may test all cattle destined for slaughter in an effort to restore international confidence in Canadian beef. Currently, Canada requires testing only for meat from cows that seem ill.

–with files from Canadian Press

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