FarmPolicy

November 21, 2019

Canada Confirms Case of Mad Cow Disease

Reuters writers David Ljunggren and Scott Haggett reported on Friday that, “Canada confirmed its first case of mad cow disease since 2011 on Friday, but said the discovery should not hit a beef export sector worth C$2 billion ($1.6 billion) a year.

“The news, however, helped boost U.S. cattle prices.

“The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said no part of the animal, a beef cow from Alberta, had reached the human food or animal feed systems.”

The Reuters article stated that, “Asked whether he was concerned about exports being harmed, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told reporters in Calgary: ‘Not at this time, no.’

“He added, however, that markets in South Korea and Japan were generally very concerned about the potential risk from BSE.”

Paul Vieira reported on Friday at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Cattle futures markets initially shrugged off any concerns that the mad-cow disease finding in Canada would limit cattle supply.

“Canadian officials said they had been in contact with the country’s trading partners about the discovery and initial findings. However, at a barley growers event in Alberta, Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said he wasn’t worried about the potential impact on trade.”

The Journal article added that, “While live-cattle futures in Chicago traded higher following the announcement early Friday, analysts said that the impact to the market would likely be muted because it remains an isolated case and because the meat industry and regulators have gotten better at containing such outbreaks.”

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