Billings, Mont.Yet again, R-CALFUSA learned through the rumor mill yesterday that Canada had detected the country's 18th case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a 72-month-old Angus cow. Although Canadian officials were purported to have notified the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) last week, a phone call this morning to OIE revealed that Canada had not yet notified OIE of this latest discovery. However, R-CALF USA Communications Coordinator Shae Dodson was told via telephone by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that Canada, indeed, had discovered yet another case of BSE. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) later verified CFIA's report.
"The CFIA said the BSE-positive case was confirmed Feb. 25, 2010, which means the CFIA and all other governments who knew about this latest BSE case kept it a secret from the public for almost two weeks, said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. "If we had not discovered this information, the public may never have known."
At six years of age, this particular animal would have been born in 2003 or 2004, making her the 18th Canadian-born BSE case and the 11th BSE-positive animal eligible to be exported to the United States. In November 2007, USDA implemented the OTM (over-30-months) Rule that allows the U.S. to import into the U.S. these high-risk Canadian cattle over 30 months of age, as long as such cattle were born after March 1, 1999.
Already this year, well over 40,000 older Canadian cows and bulls have been imported into the United States for domestic slaughter.