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March 2001 22 cows from EU in Texas

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Mike

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Just wondering if there might be a connection with the cow recently found. Would we know the truth if there was a connection?
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UPDATE ON ACTIONS TAKEN BY USDA REGARDING CATTLE IMPORTED PRIOR TO 1989 FIREWALL BAN
CATTLE HEALTH - BSE - NEWS
Friday, March 23, 2001


There are news reports today suggesting that cattle in Texas, Minnesota, Illinois and Vermont are suspected of having BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy). These reports are incorrect and have the potential to lead to confusion and concern among consumers, retailers and foodservice operators.

Here are the facts.

As always please reference http://www.bseinfo.org for additional detail about BSE and U.S. prevention measures.

Some cattle were imported into the U.S. prior to the two major BSE-related import bans: the July 21, 1989, ban on importing animals from countries with BSE, and the December 12, 1997, ban on importing animals from all European countries.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has conducted a traceback effort to locate each of the 496 UK and Irish cattle that were imported into this country between January 1, 1981, and July 1989. In July 1989, the U.S. prohibited the importation of ruminants from countries affected with BSE. These cattle were traced and quarantined. Currently, only 4 of these traced animals remain alive in the United States. These animals are in Vermont and are being carefully monitored by APHIS personnel on an ongoing basis. Efforts are being made to acquire these animals and depopulate them. Over the years APHIS has acquired and tested these imported animals from the UK. No evidence of BSE has been found in any of the UK import animals tested. The Vermont animals are very old and clinical BSE symptoms typically show up in infected animals between three and five years of age.

In December 1997, the prohibition on imported ruminant animals was expanded to include the entirety of Europe due to risk factors associated with BSE. There were 41 head of cattle imported from other countries in Europe prior to the 1997 ban and these animals have been under quarantine for years. Twenty-nine animals were imported legally into Texas between February 1996 and September 1997. Eight others went to Colorado, one to California, one to Illinois. At the same time, two head were imported from Belgium to Minnesota.

Only 25 of these animals remain alive: 22 in Texas, one in Illinois and two in Minnesota. APHIS, in cooperation with the States and industry, continues to purchase these animals for diagnostic purposes. No evidence of BSE has been found in any of these imported animals.

These imported animals are NOT “suspected of having BSE.” However, because these animals were imported from Europe, it is important that they be acquired, humanely euthanized and tested for BSE even though they are beyond the age at which symptoms of the disease likely would appear if it were present.

NCBA is coordinating with USDA/APHIS to assist in acquiring the remaining imported animals and depopulating them. Now that the Vermont sheep have been acquired, APHIS may be able to move aggressively to acquire and depopulate the remaining imported cattle.

For information about the APHIS BSE testing program and maps showing the number and location of the remaining imported cattle, go to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/oa/bse/bsesurvey.html#charts

NCBA will keep you informed of any new information we acquire about the disposition of the imported cattle.
 

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