Mexico will fully open to Canadian beef in October

Mexico says it will open its borders to the full range of Canadian beef effective Oct. 1, removing one of the last restrictions that were imposed after BSE was found in Canada in 2003. The announcement was made today by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa. […] Read more

Latest BSE cow born on farm implicated in 2010 case

Officials confirmed Friday that the animal identified in a recent BSE case in Alberta shares a birth farm with an animal from a 2010 case. It’s the first time Canada has seen a repeat case involving the same birth farm. Earlier this month, a cow born in 2009 that died on a farm near Spruce […] Read more

Gaps in feed ban may be source of BSE infection: CFIA

Gaps in Canada’s early feed ban that allowed specified risk material from cattle to get into feed might have caused the country’s latest BSE case. Paul Mayer, vice-president of policy and programs with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said the feed ban that was implemented in 1997 was not as comprehensive as the enhanced feed […] Read more

Age of cow to determine implications of latest BSE case

UPDATED: Monday February 15, 2015 – 1400 CST – South Korea temporarily suspends Canadian beef imports in wake of BSE diagnosis in Alberta beef cow. Details here. UPDATED: Sunday February 15, 2015 – 1140 CST – A timeline of events of the discovery of Canada’s 19th case of BSE has been released by the Canadian Food […] Read more

BSE and the legacy of a national crisis

Most would agree that the discovery of BSE in Canada in May 2003 wasn’t really a food safety crisis, at least in this country. In retrospect, it was primarily a trade crisis. As domestic demand for beef shattered records in Canada that year, 35 countries, including the United States and Japan, overnight issued an embargo […] Read more

BSE: 10 years later

There is before and there is after in the Canadian cattle industry. Time has been neatly divided between the span before the BSE crisis and what came afterward. Everyone in the industry remembers where they were at the seminal moment when they heard that Canada had a home-grown case of the disease. “I was sitting […] Read more

Cause of wonky brain proteins remain mystery after 30 years

Jay Ingram threw a mousetrap into a nest of other mousetraps set to spring. The resulting chain reaction, with traps snapping and leaping off the table, was a quick and noisy way to illustrate his point about prions. Ingram, a former radio and television host and author, threw his mousetraps during the Prion Diaries, a […] Read more

BSE: effect of devastating discovery lingers

Cattle industry collapse | CFIA researcher says confirming Canada’s first case in 2003 was gut-wrenching

Dr. Stephanie Czub has had one of the loneliest experiences in agriculture. She diagnosed the bovine brain sample that confirmed Canada’s first homegrown case of BSE in 2003, which dealt crippling blows to the cattle industry from which it has arguably yet to recover. Czub talked about her experience last week as part of a […] Read more

BSE samplings fail to meet test target

Provincial sampling under par | Industry must maintain surveillance to reduce risk, says CFIA

Canada is still meeting its BSE surveillance targets, but the provinces with the two largest herds are falling behind. That concerns the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which sets the targets and answers to the international community. The agency has met with industry and provincial representatives to discuss how to meet the targets and remind producers […] Read more

BSE puts industry in chaos

EDMONTON – It took only a single cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy to turn Canada’s livestock industry into chaos. The border to the United States, Canada’s largest trading partner, remained closed as of May 26 to live cattle and beef. Slaughter at packing plants was cut in half, fat cattle destined for slaughter were backed […] Read more