The United States has temporarily banned imports of cattle products from Canada after Canadian officials announced the first case of mad cow disease since 1993. Canada’s cattle industry is all but shut down. Brian Purchia has the latest.
Canada's Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief told a news conference Tuesday that a cow from Canada's northwestern ranching region of Alberta had tested positive for mad cow disease, a brain-wasting disease transmitted through cattle feed. But he tried to reassure the public.
CANADIAN AGRICULTURE MINISTER LYLE VANCLIEF
"I want to stress from the beginning, this is one cow."
He went on to say the cow did not go into the food chain and that its herd will be destroyed.
However, U.S. officials imposed an import ban on Canadian beef, cattle, and cattle feed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dr. Lisa Ferguson.
DR. LISA FERGUSON U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
"We feel very confident with the measures that we have taken that the risk remains very low.”
Canada exports most of its beef products to the United States.
Canada's last case of mad cow disease was detected 10 years ago in a cow imported from Britain. Britain suffered an epidemic of the illness in the 1990s leading to the slaughter of thousands of animals and the deaths of more than 100 people.
But this new case occurred in a cow that was born in Canada. Experts are now researching the cow's history to determine where it might have contracted the illness.