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I've been thinking of what to say for days, since they said the cow MAY have come from Canada. I don't know what to say. If that proves to be true, I am truly sorry for the additional hardship you will face. If it proves not to be true, then I'm really mad at my government for jumping the gun and trying to pin this on you. I guess we'll have to see how it plays out, but I am thinking of you and wish there was more I could do.

If I lived closer, I'd go over the border and buy some beef.

Jena
 

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Jena, thanks for your very sincere and kind thoughts. I understand that the cow was wearing an identification tag that comes from Canada or there is belief that's what she had. I've been away for a couple days and my news reports have been sketchy but I think we're waiting on DNA testing to confirm her origin. My sincere hope is that is not where the trail ends. If she came from here, we'll need more testing and information but so will the US. She's been in both countries long enough that there needs to be a full investigation, not just the fact that she was born in Canada, we've had a case so that's the end of the investigation. I read that her records of export do not match your records of import. Yours say she was a heifer at the time of delivery and ours state she was a mature cow.
 

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Aging a cow is an imprecise science. Depends on who looks in the mouth and what they think they see (or want to see) mostly. Someone in the U.S. may have underaged her intentionally so she would sell higher. I have bought cattle as first caving heifers, taken them make six-months later with a calf and had them marked as being 3-4 years old. Had one marked as a 1 1/2 and she had a calf a month old with her.

I would like to ask the USDA why they didn't try to track at least every dairy cow which came in to the U.S. after the one in Canada was found. Jena told us the Canadian cow was an Angus, but MCD almost always seems to be related to a dairy breed.

Ken S. in WC TN
 

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Ken, the Canadian cow, was in fact, a black angus. The thing I find a bit unusual is that the black angus and the holstien are not all that common in Alberta. We are not known for our dairies at all, we are beef country and Albertans lean more toward red angus than blacks. You'd think it would make them easier to track cause they do stand out like a sore thumb. The black originated in Saskatchewan, or at least that's what the government vets tell us and the folks that bred her have one of the most unusual operations I've ever heard of. They've been runnning black angus for 100 years, but the son who was running the operation currently, has had a completely closed herd for 25 years. It makes for a tight breeding program but they had brought in absolutely no cattle from the outside, not even bulls for new bloodlines. They grow all their own feed, have never bought any feed with the exception of protein blocks (nutralix and crystalix, the popular choices) but the area that they were living in, is a where chronic wasting was first found in deer farms and it seems to be quite concentrated in that area. We have very stringent regulations about releasing domestic deer into the wild but I've seen tagged deer roaming the countryside. I'm not saying that folks are getting tired of their livestock and releasing but I would suggest that anybody that has livestock knows they can liberate themselves once in a while and deer blend in a bit more than cattle, who are quickly recovered if they escape. The popular theory here has been that there is a strong chance that the disease has mutated and moved species, but again, that's just one more theory to add to all the others.

Sorry for being so long winded folks.
 
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