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Beef Industry Stunned By Mad Cow Case

Posted on Wednesday, May 21 at 06:27 by RoyalHighlander

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Federal Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief announced Tuesday a single cow in Alberta had bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The cow was killed in January, but the diagnosis was only confirmed Tuesday.

Alberta Premier Ralph Klein says the discovery of BSE in the province is very serious, but says he's been told there's no risk to human health.
Klein, who promised to have beef for supper Tuesday night, called on the prime minister to rally behind Canadian beef producers.
"If he's going to give $10 million to bring the Rolling Stones to Ontario to show there's no danger from SARS, I would certainly invite the prime minister to donate the same amount to have the Rolling Stones sit down to a beef dinner," said Klein.

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association, which represents roughly 100,000 beef producers across the country, called it an "isolated case" that "poses no risk" to consumers.
The message was echoed by Canada's Beef Information Centre, the CCA's marketing arm. Beef producers have "faith in the processes" developed to protect consumers, said the centre.
Alberta cattle rancher Erik Butters says the industry works hard to protect their product. Canadian beef producers pride themselves on what they call the best animal health system in the world and "that's one of the reasons it's so devastating to us," he said.
"We've got to find out what's the total story here and until we know the total story, we have to be a little careful," said Butters.

Written by CBC News Online staff

Note: Source:CBC NEWS

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