Bingaman urges USDA to keep ban on Canadian cattle
U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman and other Democratic senators asked the Bush administration to reconsider its decision to reopen the U.S.-Canadian border to live-cattle imports, citing the fourth case of mad cow disease detected in Canadian cattle in recent years.
In May 2003, the United States closed the border to Canadian cattle imports because bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) was detected in a Canadian dairy cow. After being convinced that Canada had taken necessary steps to prevent the disease from spreading, the Bush administration last month decided to reopen the border to live cattle on March 7, 2005.
But Bingaman urged USDA Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman to reconsider that decision in light of the fact that two new cases of mad cow disease were found in Canadian-born cattle.
“In addition to health and safety issues for U.S. consumers, I am concerned about the possible impact of this decision on efforts to fully reopen exports to Mexico and Asia. For more than a year, the United States has worked to lift various countries’ bans on exports of live cattle and beef.
Earlier this month Bingaman asked the Bush Administration to work with Mexican President Vicente Fox’s Administration to open the Mexican border once again to U.S.cattle exports. Mexico has barred U.S. live-cattle exports for more than a year after an isolated case of mad cow disease was detected in a Canadian-born dairy cow in the state of Washington.