Mad cow slipped through feed rule crack

February 14, 2005, as reported by Canadian officials are blaming an overlap period between animal feed rule changes and full implementation of the new rules as the potential cause of January 11’s mad cow.

“The feed component of the investigation determined that BSE may have been transmitted to the affected animal through feed produced shortly after the feed ban was introduced,” the agency said in a statement on the investigation’s findings.

Contaminated feed produced shortly after a ban on risk materials emerged as the prime suspect according in an investigation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Canada banned the Specified Risk Material which can contain BSE agents in 1997. “At that time it is likely that the feed ban was not immediately adopted uniformly across the feed industry,” the agency said. “Similar experiences have been observed in all countries with BSE that have implemented feed controls. The detection of an affected animal born after the feed ban was not unexpected.”

Canadian officials are conducting a review of how the ban is working, the agency said.