Checking in on Canada's BSE Case
Ritz: “Well over the past 10 or 11 years since the very first outbreak there have been a tremendous changes in the global overview of what it constitutes to contain BSE. This is our 20th case out of 10s of millions of animals. We still retained our controlled risk status. We’ve had three or four countries now that have stopped imports for the time being but the grand total lumped together is only 3 percent of our overall trade. So we don’t foreseeing any major problems. What we have learned in the last little while is to be very proactive. So I have had our chief veterinarian official calling directly chief veterinarian officers in the U.S., Japan and Mexico — our major trading partners — to connect the dots to make sure they understand. We’ve given them as much information as the media so they are comfortable with the way we are moving forward.”
He shares how the process worked in the case of the most recent BSE discovery.
Ritz: “It was quarantined immediately so none of it ever got into the food or feed system. That shows the validity of our system. We’ve got far better traceability than we ever had in 2003. So the trace on this animal went smoother than ever before. And farmers themselves for the most part, are realizing you can’t stand in the way of this — you’ve got to be part of the solution.”
Since the discovery six countries have temporarily banned imports of Canadian beef — with China being the most recent to place a ban.