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Canada's Mad Cow outbreak may be traced back to the USA.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
This has just destroyed our cattle industry. Taken from cp24.com

Mad Cow devastated Canada’s beef industry as countries shuttered their borders to our meat. And now there’s word that the single case of the ailment that wreaked havoc on the industry might have come from cattle imported from the U.S. six years ago.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency noticed that a large haul of 25,000 pregnant cows from the U.S. came in just before the 1997 ban on giving animal protein to cattle. “Canada cannot, to date, exclude the possibility that the index case itself derived through this huge, unique importation,†reads the agency’s final report on its research on the situation.

And the cows came in before the Canadian Cattle Identification Program, meaning they lost their identification as American imports.

And the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said that 70 to 80 per cent of them were Black Angus, which is the same sort of creature as the Alberta animal that eventually developed mad cow disease.

The organization is also taking another look at a 1993 case of the disease in an Alberta bull that had come from England. Scientists wonder if other sickened animals could have been imported before the discovery of the 1993 case.
post #2 of 8
Not to dismiss their findings, but that sounds like a real shot in the dark to me. My father works in the industry, he's an animal health and nutrition specialist, and he HAS to keep up with this kind of thing. I've asked him numerous times about both Mad Cow and Foot and Mouth Disease. There have been no cases in the US, period. If it was a US import, there would have been Mad Cow somewhere here too.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Canada only had 1 cow out of 10s of thousands checked, so it wasn't a common feed issue here from what we can tell. Normally it would affect more then 1 cow.
post #4 of 8
The "mad cow" in Canada really has me worried. I live in the EU, so I know how devastating the disease is. I would assume that BSE was imported from over here, not from the States. The thing is, a lot of cats (both big cats in zoos and run-of-the-mill domestic cats) have died of variant Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease after ingesting beef here. I've only been buying cat food containing beef if it was produced in North America, but now I'll probably stop buying it altogether. There have been no recorded cases of dogs becoming infected, and an awful lot of the people who have died seem to have been infected while children or teenagers, so it appears that kids and cats are particularly susceptible. The tests are not 100%, and only older animals are being tested, so eating beef here is still like playing Russian roulette. The fact that it has turned up in Canada is really a disaster.
post #5 of 8
My thought is that the single case in Canada was an anomaly, perhaps one of the few cases that actually happened naturally. Jcat's right, if caused by the feed there would be many more cases and they would have shown up by now (both in Canada and the US).
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
That saddest part is all of those cows that had to be slaughtered to be tested. I am making a point in the stores to buy Canadaian beef - I still trust it and I need to support our cattle farmers1
post #7 of 8
Cows get it by eating feed contaminated with brain or spinal cord tissue of infected bovines. But that kind of feed was banned years ago. Taken from first paragraph : www.pulse24.com/News/Top_Story/20030520-017/page.asp

I know it's banned but why did they feed them animal byproducts in the first place. Arn't cows herbavoirs (spelling?). Shouldn't they just be eatting grass and grain and such??
post #8 of 8
LeeLee, I'm certainly not the expert (my father is!) but from what I remember it was to boost the amount of protein in their diet, which is much more dense in animal tissue than in plant matter.
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