Friday, February 20, 2015

CFIA blames feed for recent BSE case

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is blaming feed for the recent case of a cow confirmed to have had Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cows disease).

But that seems curious since feeding rendered materials from packing plants was banned two years before this cow was able to eat feed rations.

It’s believed that the disease can be spread to cattle that eat feed that contains protein rendered from materials supplied by meat-packing companies who slaughtered BSE-infected cattle.

The cow was born on one farm and was sold from another, both in the Edmonton area.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced Wednesday that the cow discovered with bovine spongiform encephalopathy earlier this month was born in March 2009.

Paul Mayers, a CFIA vice-president, said the agency is working to determine the source of the feed used at the birth farm in Alberta and assess any potential risk factors to other animals.

"The enhanced feed ban was put in place to accelerate Canada's progress toward the reduction of the disease," Mayers said in Ottawa.

"As this progression continues, the detection of a small number of cases among the 30,000 samples tested yearly as part of our BSE surveillance program is not unexpected."

If this cow indeed ate BSE-contaminated feed, then the CFIA's lack of enforcement of its ban is at least partly to blame. 

But will the federal government compensate the farmers or the beef industry which has lost the market in South Korea? Need I ask?