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Canada Trace Mad Cow-Tainted Feed To Two Plants

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

CANADA - Canadian officials have traced to two mills the feed that probably caused North America's two cases of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, one in Canada last May and the other in the U.S. in December.

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The feed from the Canadian mills could have contained infectious protein from imported British cattle, said Dr. George Luterbach, an official of a mad cow working group in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. He said Canadian law prohibits disclosing the identity of the mills.

Canada reported its only case of the brain-wasting disease in an animal on a farm in Alberta. The U.S. followed with an announcement that an animal in Mabton, Wash., had BSE. Both animals had been raised on farms in Alberta. And both ate feed containing meat and bone meal while they were calves.

"Our best hypothesis was the animals were exposed by contaminated feed," Luterbach said. He said the two infected animals didn't eat feed from the same mill.

In both cases, the feed was given to the animals as calves just before Canada and the U.S. banned the use of cattle tissues in feed intended for cattle in 1997.

Lauterbach said the feed could have contained tissue from infected cattle imported from Britain before Canada banned the importation of British cattle after a devastating outbreak of mad cow disease there.

Source: eFeedLink - 22nd March 2004

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