U.S. proposal would allow Canadian cattle exports by early 2004

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CALGARY, Alta. — The U.S. has published a proposal that would allow Canadian cattle to once again cross the border by early 2004.

The proposal was issued today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is subject to a 60-day review period. It would apply to cattle under the age of 30 months and would see Canada once again deemed a country of minimal risk for mad cow disease.

“The United States has a long history of having safeguards in place to prevent the introduction of BSE,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman said in a news release. “The continued protection of the U.S. food supply is our top priority. This proposal reflects a thorough review of the scientific evidence, which shows the risk to public health to be extremely low.”

It’s estimated Canadian beef producers have lost more than $1 billion during the beef ban that came into effect May 20 after a single Canadian cow was discovered to have mad cow disease.

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