Canada's Cattle Awarded Safer Designation For Mad Cow Protection Measures

CANADA - The world's leading health organization has stamped Canada with the second highest safety designation for mad cow protection measures. Canada's cattle industry welcomed the announcement since its beef sector has lost billions in export dollars in the four years since mad cow disease was discovered in an Alberta cow.
calendar icon 23 May 2007
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Federal Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl was in Paris for the announcement and was excited that "Canadian cattle will once again be sold throughout the world."

The World Organization for Animal Health officially categorized Canada as a controlled-risk country for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The U.S. also falls under the same designation.

Strahl hopes this designation will help reopen markets that have been closed to Canadian beef, "with this controlled risk categorization, we are confident that our trading partners will continue to recognize and respond positively to Canada's commitment to animal health and food safety."

It was in May 2003 when a Canadian cow was first diagnosed with being infected with the disease, and there have been 9 cases since. Currently, Canada's top three beef markets, the U.S., Mexico and Japan still have some restriction on the country's beef imports.

Today's announcement was significant because the World Trade Organization often uses the standards set by the World Organization for Animal Health to handle cross-border trading disputes involving animal health. The guidelines separate countries into risk categories based on what they have done to minimize exposure to BSE.

Source: AHN
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