Feed Considered Final BSE Issue to be Addressed

by 5m Editor
22 January 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1430. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

Play Audio

Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1430

Canada's Agriculture Minister says concerns related to livestock feed appear to be the one issue that remains outstanding in addressing BSE in North America.

Last week the Federal Agriculture Minister met with his US and Mexican counterparts in Washington to discuss the impact of BSE and to further efforts aimed at reestablishing the movement of live Canadian cattle.

Prime Minister Paul Martin and Presidents Bush of the US and Fox of Mexico have generally agreed, BSE is a North American problem that must be resolved on a North American basis.

Agriculture Minister Bob Speller says specified risk materials in feed, the one thing the international review panel asked Canada to deal with, is the one issue that remains outstanding as Canada and the US work toward reopening the border.

"We've dealt with tracking and tracing. We've dealt with surveillance. We've got similar responses on downer cows.

Really feed is what's left and we're going to work together on a policy for feed. It's not under Agriculture there. It's under their health.

We've agreed and last week I agreed with Tommy Thompson, the American Health Secretary, to sit down and to work together in terms of bringing forward a proposal on that. There's a number of options that are being put forward.

We haven't decided yet which option we will be taking. There's a number of views on both sides of that. We'll be listening to those views and then making a decision on it. We just have haven't made that decision yet".

Speller says, while he can't estimate how long it will take to address the remaining outstanding concerns, there is now a process in place in which Canada can work with the US to resolve the matter.

He says the science shows North American beef is safe and progress is being made.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor