|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.