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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 December, 2003, 20:06 GMT
US expands 'mad cow' beef recall
Cattle grazing in Alberta
US authorities are recalling more than 10,000 pounds of beef
The US Government has expanded its recall of beef after the discovery of its first case of "mad cow" disease.

Officials had said the meat from the infected cow, slaughtered on 9 December in Washington State, went to Oregon, California, Nevada and Washington.

They have now determined that meat from the same facility, killed on the same day, went to Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Idaho and the territory of Guam.

It is unclear how much meat could have been shipped to the additional states.

US officials say American beef is still safe because the infected cow's brain and spinal cord - which is the only part normally tainted by the disease - was removed before the meat was processed.

Canadian denials

As investigations continue into how the cow became infected with "mad cow" disease, or BSE, officials in Canada have urged the US not to "rush to judgment".

BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY
First surfaced mid-1980s
Can pass to humans through infected beef products
Human form of disease called vCJD
vCJD has killed 137 people, mainly in the UK

US Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Ron DeHaven said the dairy cow found to have BSE was believed to have been one of 74 imported from Canada into Idaho in 2001.

The cow recently gave birth to a bull calf which was sold to another farm in Washington state. None of the calves on that farm have been tagged, officials said, so all males under 30 days old are likely to be killed as a precaution.

Dr DeHaven said it was not yet known where the other 73 animals imported from Canada were, adding that they may or may not be infected.

But his Canadian counterpart, Dr Brian Evans, said the details on the cow's records in the US did not match those kept in Canada.

COUNTRIES THAT HAVE BANNED US BEEF
Japan*
Mexico*
South Korea*
Australia
Brazil
Canada - partial ban
China
Hong Kong
Malaysia
Russia
Singapore
South Africa
Taiwan
Thailand
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
Vietnam
*Top three importers
"As yet, there is no definitive evidence that confirms that the BSE-infected cow originated in Canada," Dr Evans said.

Canada reported its own first case of mad cow disease - or bovine spongiform encephalopathy - in Alberta last May. It is not known if the US and Canadian cases are connected.

Correspondents say the Canadian beef industry would suffer again if the Canadian link was confirmed - just as it was beginning to recover after exports fell in the wake of the May case.

In the US, experts have predicted this week's news of the BSE case will cost the US cattle industry billions of dollars. At least 26 countries have now banned imports of American beef because of BSE fears.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Richard Forrest
"US officials are rushing to try to save this billion-dollar industry"



SEE ALSO:
More nations ban US beef imports
26 Dec 03  |  Americas
US races to find 'mad cow' source
25 Dec 03  |  Americas
US beef industry holds its breath
24 Dec 03  |  Business
Russia suspends US beef imports
24 Dec 03  |  Europe
Q&A: US 'mad cow' scare
24 Dec 03  |  Americas
Asia suspends US beef imports
24 Dec 03  |  Asia-Pacific


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