Mad Cow Disease (cont.)
In this Article
- Mad cow disease facts, history, how it's spread, and link to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)
- How many cases of mad cow disease have been identified in the U.S.?
- How many cases of mad cow disease have been identified in Canada?
- What are the different strains of mad cow disease?
- Can feed bans prevent the spread of mad cow disease?
- What is the prevalence of mad cow disease in the U.S. and Canada?
As of October 26, 2009, a regulation issued by FDA in April 2009 came into effect establishing an enhanced BSE-related feed ban in the United States. This enhanced ban will further harmonize BSE feed control measures in the U.S. with those in Canada (see below). In addition, FDA continues to enforce its important 1997 mammalian-to-ruminant feed ban through its BSE inspection and BSE feed testing programs.
As of July 12, 2007, an enhanced BSE-related feed ban came into effect in Canada. CFIA established this ban to more effectively prevent and quickly eliminate BSE from Canada. The enhanced ban prohibits most proteins, including potentially BSE infectious tissues known as "specified risk materials" (SRM) from all animal feeds, pet foods, and fertilizers, not just from cattle feed as required by the ban instituted in 1997. The 1997 feed ban in Canada was similar to the feed ban instituted in the United States that same year. As recently reported by CFIA, removing SRM from the entire animal feed system addresses risks associated with the potential contamination of cattle feed during production, distribution, storage, and use. Applying the same measure to pet food and fertilizer materials addresses the possible exposure of cattle and other susceptible animals to these products. CFIA expects that with this new ban, BSE should be eliminated from the Canadian cattle herd by about the year 2017.
The Canadian-born cow confirmed to be infected with BSE in 2010 illustrates the difficulty in determining the effectiveness of previously instituted feed bans to prevent BSE transmissions. The initial feed bans established in both the United States and Canada were instituted in 1997. After an assessment by USDA and its Canadian counterparts, the Canadian feed ban was judged to be fully effectiveness as of March 1999. However, largely because of recognized limitations of this ban and the ban established in the United States, new, enhanced feed bans went into effect in Canada, July 12, 2007, and in the U.S., October 26, 2009. While USDA has confirmed no U.S.-born cattle as having a classic form of BSE, Canadian cattle born after March 1999 have been legally imported into the United States for any purpose since November 19, 2007.
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