|November 30, 2004,
as reported by just-food.com: Canadian cattle
producers continue to suffer from a single mad cow nearly
a year and a half ago. It is estimated producers have
lost a total of C$5bn (US$4.2bn) according to a report
from the economics department of Montreal-based bank BMO.
The US border has been shut to live Canadian cattle since
May 2003, when the infected cow was discovered in Alberta.
"In economic terms, the closing of the border
has been devastating to Canadian ranchers and their
families," said Rick Egelton, senior vice president
and deputy chief economist, BMO Financial Group. "Cattle
producers have been hit by lower output, weaker prices,
and narrowing margins."
The report goes on to note that although cattle prices
have risen from their lows immediately following the
May 2003 announcement, they remain weak today. Moreover,
the large increase in the number of cattle on farms
suggests that prices could remain soft during the next
year, even if cross-border markets are reopened.