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EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed an additional case of mad cow disease in a six-year-old cow in the province of Alberta.
The latest case was detected on a farm after a rancher contacted a veterinarian, who euthanized the animal and sent a brain sample for testing. The animal did not enter the food or feed supply.
"This case, of course, is unwelcome but it's not unexpected," said Canada's chief veterinary officer, Dr. Brian Evans, adding the cow's "age and geographic location are consistent with Canada's three previous BSE cases." Evans told reporters that under World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines, this additional case should not affect Canada's trade status or its ability to export cattle to the United States in particular. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns echoed Evans' comments.
"I anticipate no change in the status of beef or live cattle imports to the U.S. from Canada under our established agreement. As I've said many times, our beef trade decisions follow internationally accepted guidelines that are based in science," said Johanns.
Canada has begun an in-depth investigation into the case. CFIA officials noted that the owner of the farm where the case was detected appeared to have maintained good records that are now being examined.
"News of an additional case of BSE in Canada is unfortunate, but not entirely unexpected. This announcement shows that Canada's surveillance system is working to target and eliminate any remaining cases of BSE in the country," said J. Patrick Boyle, American Meat Institute president. "We remain confident that BSE is being eliminated in North America, and that Canadian and U.S. prevention systems are both working to ensure that cases are identified and removed from the North American herd."
In related news, numerous press reports indicate that Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries has confirmed its 22nd BSE case in a five-year-and-four-month-old cow that died last week on a Hokkaido farm.
According to the reports, Japanese officials say the cow was born in September 2000, before Japan's 2001 feed control rules took effect. An investigation is now underway.
News of the case comes just days after Japan suspended U.S. beef imports when a shipment of U.S. veal containing bones not approved under a U.S.-Japan agreement arrived at Narita Airport in Japan.
The United States and Japan resumed two-way beef trade in December.