Canada: Third case of mad cow disease

Canada on Tuesday confirmed a third case of &to=http:// ' target=_blank>mad cow disease in Alberta Province, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said.

The agency said that the disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or &to=http:// ' target=_blank>BSE, has been found in an Alberta beef cow just under 7 years of age. No part of the animal has entered the human food or animal feed systems, the agency said, reports Japan Today.

But the announcement may strengthen the position of a group of U.S. cattlemen who have sued to block the lifting of the cattle trade ban. The cattlemen say allowing the trade will hurt U.S. producers and put consumers at risk.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials said Tuesday they are sending a team to Canada to evaluate the latest mad cow case before deciding whether to change their plan to resume imports.

Ron DeHaven, administrator of the Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the agency is confident that protections in place in Canada and the United States will safeguard U.S. consumers and livestock, informs San Francisco Chronicle.

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