January 9, 2004
Jan. 9, 2004 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigation into the one dairy cow found positive for BSE in the State of Washington on December 23 continues. This week, the bull calf herd of approximately 450 animals in Sunnyside, Wash., was euthanized.
Also, DNA evidence helped to verify ? with a high degree of certainty ? that the BSE-positive cow did originate from a dairy farm in Alberta, Canada. This DNA evidence was based on a comparison of DNA from the brain of the positive cow with the DNA from semen of her sire. This information was confirmed by both U.S. and Canadian animal health laboratories.
To date, USDA has accounted for 12 of the 82 cattle that came into the United States with the index cow and has good leads on the whereabouts of many others. In regard to the 17 animals from the BSE-infected animal?s birth herd that may have also arrived in the United States as part of a later shipment, USDA and Canadian officials continue to work to confirm if any or all of these animals ? all heifers ? did in fact enter the United States.
USDA?s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), on Thursday, issued new rules to implement the announcements made last week by Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman to further enhance safeguards against BSE. The rules released include: banning of non-ambulatory animals from the human food supply, product holding, specified risk material, advanced meat recovery and air-injection stunning. Comments on the interim final rules will be accepted for 90 days after the publication of the rules in the Federal Register on Jan. 12, 2004.
FSIS has also reported that all primary, secondary and tertiary establishments that may have received product subject to this recall have been contacted by compliance officers. Recall effectiveness checks have determined that product was sent to six states: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho and Montana. Alaska, Hawaii and Guam did not receive any of the products subject to recall.
For additional information on the BSE investigation log on to: USDA
Staff contact: Paul Rodgers, 304-647-9981