In stern terms, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told his Brazilian counterpart that beef trade between the nations hinges on prompt reporting of cattle diseases, especially mad cow disease. Earlier this year, Brazil reported two cases of atypical mad cow disease two months after they occurred, while most nations report the findings within days.
Animal health officials announced the seventh case of mad cow disease in the United States in 20 years — an apparently spontaneous infection of a beef cow from a farm in southeastern Tennessee.
An 11-year-old cow, intercepted at a livestock market in Alabama, is the fifth U.S. case of mad cow disease, the brain-wasting fatal disease found generally in older cattle, said the USDA. "This finding ... should not lead to any trade issues," said USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, because it was the "atypical" type that seems to occur spontaneously.
With China and the United States trying to improve trade relations, White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced the publication of the USDA’s final details for beef exports to China, which have been barred since the first U.S. case of mad cow disease, in 2003.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Trump are to meet face to face for the first time today in Florida, with analysts saying trade issues offer the most likely area for agreement. Three dozen senators wrote to Trump ahead of the two-day bilateral meeting to call on the Chinese to admit shipments of U.S. beef.
Nearly 13 years ago, China shut its borders to U.S. beef in reaction to the first U.S. case of mad cow disease. Now, the government says it will end the ban, leaving U.S. officials and cattle producers asking for a timeline, says the Wall Street Journal.
Saudi Arabia lifted its four-year-old ban on U.S. beef, reopening a promising export market that was closed to the American livestock industry following discovery of the fourth U.S. case of mad cow disease. “Re-opening Saudi Arabia’s market will create additional export opportunities for American ranchers,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement.
The French agriculture ministry confirmed mad cow disease in a cow in the Ardennes region, the first case in the country since 2011 and the third in Europe since 2015, reports Deutsche Welle.
A five-year-old cow in the Ardennes region of northeastern France may have the brain-wasting affliction known as mad cow disease, says Reuters. If confirmed, it would be the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the country since 2004.
Canada's latest case of mad cow disease, reported on Feb. 13, was born on the same farm in Alberta as an animal afflicted with the brain-wasting disease in 2010, says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The first case of mad cow disease in Canada since 2011 was confirmed in a beef cow in Alberta, according to the Canadian Press. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said he did not expect the discovery to affect beef exports.
Ireland is the first European country to regain access to U.S. sales following removal of trade restrictions put in place against mad cow disease 15 years ago, says Irish Times.
Medical researchers say they developed a vaccination against chronic wasting disease in deer, a fatal brain infection similar to mad cow disease that affects deer, elk, caribou and moose.