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Federal Agriculture Minister confident BSE impact will be temporary

Federal Agriculture Minister confident BSE impact will be temporary - image

CALGARY — Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says figuring out how an Alberta cow was infected with BSE is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

The beef breeding cow was discovered last month on a farm west of Edmonton near Spruce Grove, and was born on a nearby farm.

Another cow born on the same farm in 2004 tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as “mad cow disease”, in 2010.

READ MORE: What is mad cow disease? Quick facts about BSE

Ritz says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has already located 40 to 50 per cent of the animals raised at the same time as the infected cow and which came into contact with it.

He says the feed system is also being checked to see if there’s any kind of “smoking gun.”

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Ritz says a number of countries that have temporarily suspended imports of Canadian beef are being kept in the loop, but he points out they only account for about five per cent of Canada’s worldwide market.

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