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Mad cow has economic impact

Investigators traced a Holstein stricken with mad cow disease to Canada, according to reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | December 27, 2003

Investigators traced a Holstein stricken with mad cow disease to Canada, according to reports from the office of Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief veterinarian for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The animal was one of a herd of 74 cattle shipped from Alberta to the U.S. in August 2001.

DeHaven said that, though investigators are tracking the rest of the herd, this does not mean the entire herd is diseased. He said investigators should be able to track the rest of the herd within several days.

Federal officials on Friday also quarantined a herd of 400 bull calves, one of which is an offspring of the sick cow.

If the sick cow is confirmed to be from Canada, the U.S. might possibly retain its "disease free" status. By Saturday, the U.S. had lost 90 percent of its beef exports because of its first case of mad cow disease.

More than two-dozen foreign nations have banned the import of U.S. beef, though USDA officials have insisted the meat is safe.

After Canada found a case of mad cow in May, the country's beef industry was devastated.

Mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy is a brain-wasting disease that can be passed on to humans who eat infected meat.


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