Index -- Original -- Original+Hints -- Translation


Three more cattle farms quarantined in Canada after mad cow case

25.05.2003 12:43:40, Europe (AFX) TORONTO (AFX) - Three more cattle farms in the western province of Alberta were quarantined as they had been linked to the sole Alberta cow confirmed to have mad cow disease, agricultural officials said on Saturday. A black Angus cow, killed in late January, was confirmed Tuesday to have mad cow disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Officials have now quarantined a total of 16 farms -- including 11 in Alberta, three in British Columbia and two in Saskatchewan -- compared to 13 on Friday. Shirley McClellan, Alberta province's agricultural minister, said in a nationally televised press conference in Edmonton, Alberta that not all of the herds will be culled. "Let's wait until they conclude the investigation on the farm," she said, speaking of Marwyn Peaster's Wanham, Alberta cattle ranch. More than 100 head of cattle from that farm -- where the affected cow last lived -- have been slaughtered to test for mad cow disease, which wreaked havoc on the British cattle industry in the 1990s. Test results are expected in a few days. She stressed that BSE has only been found in one cow in Canada. Officials, meanwhile, continued to search for how the stricken cow -- believed to be between six and eight years old -- contracted the disease, by determining where it came from as well as what types of feed it had. Animal-protein feed was believed to be the main transmission of BSE among British cattle. Canada banned its use in feed in 1997. If the cow is confirmed to have been born in Canada -- as appears more likely -- it would become the first homegrown case of mad cow disease in North America. In 1993, there was one case of mad cow disease in Canada but it was a cow imported from Britain, where BSE first appeared in 1986. sba/aln/rc