26th June 2006, MONTREAL: Cattle tissues that could transmit mad-cow disease will no longer be allowed in pet foods, chicken feed and fertilizer under new federal rules announced Monday.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is tightening rules on the products to crack down even further on potential ways of spreading bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.
Protein-based tissues from the skulls, brains, nerves, eyes, spinal cords and bones of older cattle have been banned from cattle and ruminant feed manufactured or sold in Canada since 1997 because of their role in passing on the disease.
The new rules widen the ban on those tissues to include all livestock feed, pet food and fertilizers, the CFIA said.
"Removing these tissues from all animal feeds will address the risks associated with potential contamination during feed production, distribution and storage, as well as any inappropriate use of feeds on farms," the agency said on its website.
The widened ban is scheduled to take effect on July 12, 2007.
Small feed-producing operations will be given an additional six months to make sure they can comply with the new rules.
More than 3 years since the first BSE case in Canada
The discovery of BSE in a Canadian cow back in May 2003 threw the country's cattle industry into chaos. Many other countries closed their borders to imports of Canadian cows or beef in the wake of the discovery.
Since then, the CFIA has reported two other cases of the disease in Canada. Another two infected cattle found on U.S. farms had originally come from Canada.
Internationally, BSE has been linked to a deadly type of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease among humans who have eaten certain types of tissues from infected cows. No cases of human infection have been reported in Canada.
The federal agency said it hopes the new rules will make the Canadian cattle feed system 99 per cent free from sources of potential infection.