Mexico Blocks Alberta Cattle

CANADA - Mexico has banned imports of live cattle from Alberta, following the discovery of Canada's 14th case of mad cow disease in the province last week.
calendar icon 22 August 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

According to Calgary Herald, Mexico is banning imports of beef and dairy breeding cattle - but not stopping the flow of beef into the country -- in a move Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said has no legitimacy from a scientific perspective.

The news agency reports that Canada and Mexico are both considered as controlled-risk status for BSE, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, as recognized by the World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE

"They're (Mexico is) very concerned that if they're bringing in an older breeding animal, that they may be importing BSE; that's the genesis of this," Ritz said in a telephone interview to the Calgary Herald.

Rob McNabb, general manager of operations at the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, said Mexico has given written notice of the ban to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Mexican authorities are describing the move as a temporary prohibition of live cattle from Alberta, he said, while they undertake their own risk assessment "and assure themselves that what Canada's doing to ensure safety is sound."

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