Tester disappointed by confirmed BSE case in Canada

Citing public safety, Senator wants to reinstate Canadian cattle restrictions

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – In response to another confirmed case of BSE in Alberta, Senator Jon Tester today vowed to do what he can to reinstate federal rules that restrict Canadian cattle coming into the U.S.

Canada confirmed its 11th case of BSE, or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy—sometimes called “Mad Cow Disease,” in a 13-year old cow from Alberta.  It’s the first case of BSE from Canada confirmed since the U.S. Department of Agriculture lifted age restrictions on Canadian cattle on November 19.


“Many of us didn’t need this reminder that opening our border to Canadian cattle over 30 months old endangers our food supply,” Tester said. 


Before the USDA lifted its ban last month, only cattle under 30 months of age were allowed to be imported from Canada because younger animals are considered to be less of a risk of carrying BSE.


Earlier this year Tester cosponsored a bipartisan resolution to stop the USDA from allowing older cattle into the U.S.  But the USDA lifted its ban anyway because President Bush never signed the resolution.


“All we’re trying to do is to make sure that animals coming across our border are safe and won’t jeopardize Montana’s own cattle industry,” Tester said.  “That’s why I’m going to continue to press on and do whatever I can to keep our cattle and beef safe from the threat of BSE.”