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Tuesday, December 30, 2003

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Kate

"Pinning the blame on Canada" works only for the uninformed who don't understand that until this year's border closure, there has been no US vs Canadian cattle industry. The industry has been totally integrated for the past 150 years, with thousands of cattle crossing the border every year. If one is going to hang onto the premise that contaminated feed is the source of BSE, closing the border today does nothing to address the fact that there are probably hundreds of thousands of cattle of Canadian origin in your country.

Canada does have at least one advance in tracking disease that is lacking in the US - mandatory identification and tracking of every animal that moves through the system. It has been in place for several years, thus, if a sick animal is identified, their is little detective work involved in hunting down possible sources and other infected animals.

Regarding the argument that open trade in livestock can present an opportunity for economic terrorism... now there's a stretch.

Infected animals are incubating the disease. The risk that they will sicken and be discovered.

Much more likely scenerio - the highly contagious, harmless to humans, foot & mouth disease is tracked into several midwestern cattle auction marts on intentionally contaminated footwear, etc.
Large volumes of highly mobile, stressed animals, being infected then dispersed.


Kate

"Pinning the blame on Canada" works only for the uninformed who don't understand that until this year's border closure, there has been no US vs Canadian cattle industry. The industry has been totally integrated for the past 150 years, with thousands of cattle crossing the border every year. If one is going to hang onto the premise that contaminated feed is the source of BSE, closing the border today does nothing to address the fact that there are probably hundreds of thousands of cattle of Canadian origin in your country.

Canada does have at least one advance in tracking disease that is lacking in the US - mandatory identification and tracking of every animal that moves through the system. It has been in place for several years, thus, if a sick animal is identified, their is little detective work involved in hunting down possible sources and other infected animals.

Regarding the argument that open trade in livestock can present an opportunity for economic terrorism... now there's a stretch.

Infected animals are incubating the disease - high risk that they will sicken and be discovered before they do much damage.

Much more likely scenerio - the highly contagious, harmless to humans, foot & mouth disease is tracked into several midwestern cattle auction marts on intentionally contaminated footwear, etc.
Large volumes of highly mobile, stressed animals, being infected then dispersed.


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