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American Meat Institute Statement on New BSE Case in Canada

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

“News of an additional case of BSE in Canada is unfortunate, but not unexpected. This announcement shows that Canada’s surveillance system is working to target and eliminate any remaining cases of BSE in the country.

Canadian government data demonstrate a current high level of compliance with feed restrictions aimed at preventing the transmission of BSE via feed. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), preliminary information provided by the owner and a further examination revealed that the animal was likely between eight and ten years of age. Based on this information, exposure to the BSE agent likely occurred either before the feed ban was introduced or during its implementation. The estimated age of this animal is consistent with those of previous Canadian cases and exposure to a very low level of BSE infectivity.

Consumers should also be reassured to know that beef from the animal did not enter the food supply. However, it is important to remember that eating beef cuts has never been associated with any BSE-related disease. Parts of the animal that can pose a risk are removed and do not enter the U.S. or Canadian food supplies. Moreover, no variant CJD cases have occurred as a result of eating U.S. or Canadian beef products.

We hope and expect that this case will not adversely affect USDA’s rulemaking efforts to restore all beef trade with Canada. We reiterate our confidence that BSE is being eliminated in North America and that Canadian and U.S. prevention systems are working to ensure that cases are identified and removed from the North American herd.”

For more information contact:
David Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs
Janet Riley
Sr. Vice President, Public Affairs

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