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May 21, 2003   Email to Friend 

CANADA FINDS BSE CASE
Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
May 21, 2003

The United States has banned all imports of Canadian animals in the wake of Canada's discovery of a case of bovine spongiform encephalophathy. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said it was believed to be an "isolated case" of mad cow disease.

"I have spoken with Canada's Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lyle Vanclief ... about Canada's investigation and feel that all appropriate measures are being taken in what appears to be an isolated case of bovine spongiform encephalophathy," Veneman said. "Information suggests that risk to human health and the possibility of transmission to animals in the United States is very low."

USDA placed Canada under its BSE restriction guidelines and will not accept any ruminants or ruminant products from Canada pending further investigation.

"We are dispatching a technical team to Canada to assist in the investigation and will provide more detailed information as it becomes available," Veneman said.

In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration prohibited the use of most mammalian protein in the manufacture of animal feed intended for cows and other ruminants to stop the way the disease is thought to spread.

Veneman said since 1989, the U.S. government has taken a series of preventive actions to protect against this animal disease. These includes USDA prohibitions on the import of live ruminants, such as cattle, sheep, goats and most ruminant products from countries that have or are considered to be at risk for having BSE.


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