Mad cow found in Alberta will not hinder trade

| 1/25/2006

Canada’s latest case of mad cow disease will not halt the beef trade from Canada to the U.S., officials say, but six states continue to ride the anti-Canadian beef bandwagon.

From 2003 until last week, three cows in the province of Alberta had been found to have mad cow, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

CBC News reported Monday, Jan. 23, that a fourth case of mad cow was found in the prairie province, just as Canadian beef producers were recovering from an earlier sanction. Two cases of mad cow found in Alberta in late 2003 caused a ban of beef border crossings.

But the latest case, according to CBC reports, is not cause for another ban. Certain types of feed were banned in 1997 because of the initial mad-cow outbreak. Officials told CBC that some of the old feed might still have been in use and could perhaps be to blame for the latest case.

CBC reported that a cow can be infected with one one-thousandth of a gram of BSE, which is very minute.

Six states are calling for a long-term Canadian beef ban, according to a late 2005 article in The Canadian Press. They are Connecticut, West Virginia, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.

Northern Montana borders the province of Alberta.

The six states are represented by an anti-cattle-trade organization called R-CALF, which lobbied unsuccessfully against the lifting of the previous Canadian ban by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in March 2005.