US wants to end BSE-linked ban on older Canadian cattle

first_img USDA risk assessment concerning proposal to allow importation of older Canadian cattle Transcript of Jan 4 news conference Jan 5, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) yesterday proposed to reopen the US border to older Canadian cattle and beef for the first time since bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) cropped up in Canada in 2003. “For all commodities considered under the current proposal, the risk of BSE infectivity is negligible and the disease will not become established in the United States,” said Dr. John Clifford, the USDA’s chief veterinary officer, at a press conference. “This is true even if Canada identifies additional cases of BSE and even if an infected animal were to be imported into the United States.” In the USDA’s estimation, the March 1999 date marks the start of effective enforcement of Canada’s ban on putting cattle protein into cattle feed, a practice that is believed to spread the BSE agent, if present. Canada and the United States both imposed similar feed bans in August 1997. Clifford said the March 1999 date was picked to allow 6 months for implementation of the ban, plus another year for potentially contaminated feed to have passed through the system. Dec 30, 2004, CIDRAP News story “US to lift BSE-related ban on Canadian cattle” The USDA’s proposed rule will be published Jan 9 in the Federal Register, and the agency will then take comments on it until Mar 12. Clifford said he couldn’t predict how long it would take to digest the comments and implement the rule. See also: The USDA said it followed World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines in assessing the possible risks of lifting the ban on older Canadian cattle and meat. Clifford said officials estimated the prevalence of BSE in Canada to be 6.8 cases per 10 million adult cattle. The agency examined the risk in relation to all the BSE safeguards in place in Canada and the United States, including the ban on putting higher-risk cattle parts (specified risk materials, or SRM) into the food supply, he said. Besides ending the ban on older cattle and beef, the USDA is proposing to allow importation of Canadian cattle blood and blood products and part of the small intestine of cattle.center_img Clifford said the risk assessment recognized that 3 of the 8 BSE-infected cattle found in Canada so far were born after March 1999, when the feed ban is considered to have been fully enforced. “These cases are not unexpected,” and they don’t change the USDA’s conclusion about the enforcement date, he said. The USDA reopened the border to live Canadian cattle under 30 months of age in 2005, but the ban remained on older cattle and beef. BSE, or mad cow disease, is considered very unlikely to be found in cattle younger than 30 months because of its long incubation period. The USDA risk assessment focused mainly on animal health, but one model was used to consider possible effects on human health, Clifford reported. “The results of this model indicated that these potential impacts are extremely low,” he said. “Public health in the United States is protected through slaughter practices, including the removal of specified risk materials and the feed ban.” Agency officials said a formal risk assessment indicates that if the prevalence of BSE in Canada declines or—considered less likely—stays the same over the next 20 years, the risk that BSE would enter and spread within the United States is negligible. Canada has had 8 BSE cases since May 2003, including 5 in 2006. Jan 4 USDA news release Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns commented in a news release, “We previously recognized Canada’s comprehensive set of safeguards and we have now completed a risk assessment confirming that additional animals and products can be safely traded. Our approach is consistent with science-based international guidelines.” The rule would allow importation of live cattle born on or after Mar 1, 1999, effectively permitting cattle much older than 30 months. Meat from cattle of all ages would also be permitted, ending the current ban on meat from cattle older than 30 months, Clifford said. Feb 10, 2005, CIDRAP News story “US to keep ban on meat from older Canadian cattle”last_img read more

Read More →

Ireland’s Tommy Bowe ready to bounce back from his pre-World Cup horror show

first_img “Everybody wanted to be playing in that first game up – it is such a big competition – but it shows there is good competition for places around the squad and it is exciting that guys are getting opportunities to put their hands up for the next two games. “It has made me go back and re-assess again which is a good thing. “I have trained really well the last couple of weeks – I have gone back to really enjoying myself and trying to do everything I can to get myself involved and get myself in the game. “That is only going to show tomorrow.” Bowe featured on Ireland’s wing in the 43-12 victory over Romania in Dublin back in November 2005, with Chris Henry relishing the chance to rib his Ulster team-mate for being the old man of the piece. The 31-year-old will win his 64th Ireland cap against Romania, with head coach Schmidt’s men expected to win at a canter. Ireland know that their meetings with Italy and France should decide Pool D, with a potential quarter-final against Argentina in the offing. Bowe is confident he can still mix it with Dave Kearney, Earls and Simon Zebo to secure one of Ireland’s starting wing berths moving forward. “I know that the other guys have all been playing well and of course the England match didn’t really go my way – it wasn’t one of my best performances in an Ireland jersey. “But I have a lot of experience in the green jersey and a lot of experience playing at the top level so I know how to bounce back. “I have wiped that from my memory, the last couple of weeks has got me back training with a smile on my face. “It gives you a little bit of a spur on to know there is competition for places. “Tomorrow is going to be a big opportunity for me to put my hand up – the next two weeks are huge. I am excited about it.” Tommy Bowe insists he can bounce back from his horror-show warm-up match against England and regain his starting Ireland spot at the World Cup. Ulster wing Bowe missed a regulation tackle on Jonny May that gifted the Gloucester flyer the first try in Ireland’s 21-13 warm-up defeat to England at Twickenham on September 5. Ireland boss Joe Schmidt duly dropped Bowe for the World Cup opener; Dave Kearney and Keith Earls on the wings for the 50-7 victory over Canada. Bowe knows exactly what he must offer against Romania at Wembley this weekend, the only Ireland star in action in London who faced The Oaks when the two sides last met, in 2005. “It was tough to be left out,” said Bowe. “It was a huge kick up the a*** for me to take my opportunities whenever I get them and I am looking forward to the game. “It was a bit of a shock. “I had a bit of chat with Joe (Schmidt) – there wasn’t too much to talk about. “I knew myself that I let myself down a little bit. He said to me it is all there to play for. “I want to be part of this Irish team firing on all cylinders. “I think I would be a huge asset to the team and I am looking forward to showing that tomorrow. Press Associationlast_img read more

Read More →