News Releases

Date: 3/13/2006

Title: NCBA Statement on Positive BSE Test Result

DENVER - “The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed this afternoon a positive test result as part of its enhanced surveillance program to test cattle for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).

“The USDA has confirmed this animal did not enter the human food or animal feed supply.

“The bottom line for consumers remains the same: Your beef is safe. Experts in human and animal health agree that U.S. beef is safe from BSE because of the progressive steps taken by the U.S. government over the past two decades. The world’s leading scientists, medical professionals and government officials agree that BSE is not a public or animal health risk in the United States.

“USDA is conducting an investigation to confirm the origin and age of this animal, though according to its media statement, ‘the attending veterinarian has indicated that, based on dentition, it was an older animal, quite possibly upwards of 10 years of age.’ This indicates that the animal would have been born prior to implementation of FDA’s feed ban, which has proven to break the cycle of BSE.

“U.S. cattle producers do not anticipate this announcement to have an impact on our relationship with our international trading partners. The United States will continue to engage in trade that is consistent with the international standards outlined by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and we expect countries that trade with us to do the same.

“USDA implemented its Enhanced BSE Surveillance Program more than two years ago and has tested, to date, 644,603 targeted animals at highest risk for BSE and has found only two positive cases, evidence that the prevalence of this disease in the United States is extremely low.

“As America's beef producers, our number-one priority has always been providing the safest beef in the world. Our livelihood depends on it, and that’s why we have worked with the government and top scientists for more than 17 years to build, maintain and expand the BSE safeguards that today are protecting our cattle as well as your family and our own families.”

To learn more about BSE, information can found at the following Web sites:

Statement made by Terry Stokes, Chief Executive Officer of National cattlemen's Beef Association.

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