Mad Cow Disease Has Resurfaced in Canada. Should We Be Worried?
Canada has confirmed its first case of mad cow disease since 2011. The report surfaced on Friday, February 13 but the country expressed confidence that the discovery would not hit a beef export sector worth C$2bn ($1.6bn) a year.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said no part of the animal, a beef cow fro Alberta, had reached the human food or animal feed systems.
Mad cow is formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a progressive, fatal neurological disease.
“The CFIA is seeking to confirm the age of the animal, its history and how it became infected. The investigation will focus in on the feed supplied to this animal during the first year of its life,” the agency said.
Canadian exports were badly hit in 2003 after the first case of BSE was detected. Canada subsequently tightened its controls and many nations have since resumed the beef trade with Canada, despite the discovery of more cases since then.
Asked whether he was concerned about exports being harmed, the agriculture minister, Gerry Ritz, told reporters in Calgary: “Not at this time, no.”
He added though that markets in South Korea and Japan were generally very concerned about the potential risk from BSE.
Ritz said Canada’s current OIE risk status meant it could report up to 12 outbreaks in a calendar year.
Dave Solverson, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, said in previous outbreaks there had rarely been more than one infected animal on an individual farm.
“It’s very unlikely there will be more cases found,” he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
BSE is believed to spread when cattle eat protein rendered from the brains and spines of infected cattle or sheep. Canada banned that practice in 1997.
The CFIA tightened feed rules in 2007 and said this should help eliminate the disease nationally within a decade, although the agency said it still expected to discover the occasional new case.
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”