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BSE Firewall System Working to Detect, Stop Disease in U.S., Says AMI

Monday, March 13, 2006

“Today's announcement that an animal has tested positive for BSE does not change the fact that U.S. beef remains safe,” says AMIF President James H. Hodges. “Beef remains safe because consumption of beef has never been associated with a BSE-related human illness,” Hodges noted. This is the third confirmed case of BSE in the United States

The positive result was confirmed by Western Blot tests in Ames, Iowa. “This test result is evidence that our BSE firewall system is capable of both detecting, and eventually eliminating BSE from the United States,” noted Hodges. “The enhanced testing program that USDA started on June 1, 2004 is part of the interlocking and overlapping firewall system that this country has undertaken for nearly 15 years to detect, and eventually stop BSE in the U.S. ” Hodges added. Under the enhanced testing program more 650,000 animals have been tested for BSE. Since that time, more than 73 million head of cattle have been processed in the U.S.

USDA Chief Veterinarian John Clifford noted that the animal did not enter the food chain. Its origin is unknown at this time, although it had only been on the farm where it was detected in Alabama for less than one year. The animal’s birth cohorts are being investigated, although Dr. Clifford noted that it is “highly unusual” to find BSE in more than one animal in a herd.

The ten year old cow is a Santa Gertrudis.

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

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