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World body says Canadian beef officially poses 'negligible risk' for mad cow disease

WASHINGTON — An international animal-health watchdog has officially declared Canadian beef as posing “negligible risk” for mad cow disease. 

The designation, which is the most preferred category, was approved earlier today by the World Organization for Animal Health. 

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says the decision will give Canada new leverage in efforts to find additional export markets for beef and cattle exports. 

Beef producers and the federal government have been working to restore the industry’s lustre ever since the first domestic case of mad cow disease was detected in Canada in 2003. 

Canada has been deemed a “controlled-risk” country for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, since 2007.

To secure the change, Canada needed to show that it has been at least 11 years since the birth of the last infected animal, which occurred in 2009. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2021. 

The Canadian Press