News last update:6 Aug 2012

R-CALF: "Canadian feed ban not effective"

The Canadian government has confirmed that its latest case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was in an Alberta bull born in 2000 - well beyond the 1997 implementation of Canada's feed ban - and well beyond March 1, 1999, the date after which the Canadian feed ban was previously hoped to have become effective.

As a result of this and other recent evidence showing that the 1999 feed ban was not effective in preventing subsequent cases of BSE, R-CALF USA is again calling upon the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to immediately withdraw its plans to reopen the Canadian border to cattle over 30 months (OTM) of age. 

"Half of Canada's detected BSE cases so far have been born after its feed ban was established, clearly demonstrating that the feed ban has not prevented subsequent cases of BSE in Canada and proving that USDA's OTM rule will increase the risk of introducing BSE-infected cattle into the United States," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.

"With the discovery in Canada of several cattle testing positive for BSE that were born years after the implementation of Canada's feed ban, there is plenty of evidence of non-compliance," said R-CALF USA Vice President and Region II Director Randy Stevenson. "The confirmation of this bull, born in 2000 - three years after the feed ban was implemented - literally shouts non-compliance. "Isn't it time USDA started representing U.S. cattle producers," Stevenson asked. "Wouldn't it be great if the agency followed its own mission statement - 'to protect the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources.'"

Canada's newest improved feed ban is scheduled to take effect on July 12, and the Canadian government says the result will be that BSE is eliminated from its cattle herd in approximately 10 years, and that its level of BSE 'continues to decline.'

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