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Canada's Latest Mad Cow Case Points to Contaminated Feed

WASHINGTON - Canada's latest case of mad cow disease probably came from tainted feed, raising questions about safeguards designed to keep the disease from spreading.

The cow's age raises questions about the effectiveness of the ban, because the disease spreads only when cattle eat feed containing certain tissue from infected cattle.

Feed for other animals may still contain cattle remains and can be manufactured at the same mills that make cattle feed.

He added, "We're not ever going to be able to say with certainty thatOs where it happened and point to a particular instance."

The probe "identified incidents of concern" where cattle feed was manufactured or distributed immediately after banned material was processed. Equipment may not have been properly cleaned, the report said.

Little said Canada has continued to improve its feed ban and has increased inspections at feed plants.

Both governments are working on rules that would strengthen the feed bans, although Canada would go further than the U.S.

In the latest case of mad cow disease, "clearly, the feed ban wasnOt working," said Michael Hansen of Consumers Union. "Everything comes down to how well the feed rule is enforced."

Mad cow disease is the common name for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE , a degenerative nerve disease in cattle. In people, eating contaminated meat products has been linked to the rare but fatal variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

On the Net:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency: On

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/