U.S. To Let Canadian Cattle Back In
By George Anderson
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is partially lifting a ban on importing live cattle from Canada that was imposed when a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), otherwise known as mad cow disease, was discovered in an Alberta herd back in May 2003.
Canadian ranchers and the government have been pressing the U.S. to lift a ban they saw as excessive. Seventy percent of the country’s beef exports go to the U.S.
Beginning March 7, the U.S. will allow cattle younger than 30 months of age to be brought into the country from the north.
“After conducting an extensive review, we are confident that imports of certain commodities from regions of minimal risk can occur with virtually no risk to human or animal health,” Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said in a statement.
Moderator’s Comment: Do you agree with the decision
to allow Canadian cattle imports back into the country? Is the cattle we import
into the U.S. or export out of the country any more or less safe than it was
when BSE was discovered back in May 2003?
As we understand it, many Canadians believe the U.S. has
been slow to lift its ban on imports because of its own mad cow issues. Numerous
countries, including Japan, have sought more extensive testing before allowing
U.S. beef imports into their markets. Canadians have questioned U.S. protests
over bans placed on it by other countries when it appeared to be dragging its
heels on lifting the ban it placed on Canada. –
George Anderson – Moderator