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Is Mad Cow Disease Making a Comeback?

Is Mad Cow Disease Making a Comeback?

Mad cow disease has been found in a beef cow from Alberta, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. It’s Canada’s first confirmed case of the disease since 2011.

The CFIA says it has launched an investigation into the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) case, and that no part of the infected cow entered human food or animal feed systems.

The neurological disease was detected through a monitoring program.

“As part of the investigation, the CFIA is seeking to confirm the age of the animal, its history and how it became infected,” the agency said.

“Equivalent risk animals will be ordered destroyed and tested for BSE.”

The CFIA said this case should not affect current exports of Canadian cattle or beef.

The United States shut its borders to Canadian beef in 2003 after an infected cow was found in Alberta, costing cattle farmers as much as $7 billion in revenue.

Canada had been slow to ban the feeding of cattle by-products to other cattle, taking that step only in 1997 and then the ban proved less than 100-per-cent effective. By May 2007, a second outbreak led to 10 confirmed cases of mad cow disease.

The World Organization for Animal Health recognizes Canada as a “controlled BSE risk” country in which “appropriate measures are being taken to manage all identified risks (of BSE), but these measures have not been taken for the relevant period of time.”

People who consume beef contaminated by BSE can develop a rare and fatal neurodegenerative illness called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. According to the World Health Organization, only two cases have been reported in Canada between 1996 and 2011.

Source:
The Star

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