Japanese officials this week said they are satisfied that U.S. meatpackers are making progress in reducing the risk of mad cow disease infected beef finding its way into Japan. The officials made the statement after visiting the Greeley, Colorado, processing plant of Swift and Company, just one of 35 U.S. meatpackers the inspectors will visit. Japanese officials claim U.S. facilities that are certified to be safe will be allowed to resume beef exports to Japan, possibly later this month. Meanwhile mad cow disease was confirmed in another animal this week, but not in the U.S.
Canada this week announced the discovery of that country's sixth case of mad cow disease. Canada's Food Inspection Agency said the animal was at least 15 years old, and it was born before the country banned the use of cattle protein in cattle feed.
The announcement comes just a few days after the U.S. said it had no intention of banning Canadian cattle or beef if the country confirmed another case of the disease. USDA lifted its ban on cattle from the neighbor to the north a year ago, and is now working on a new federal rule that would allow older cattle into the U.S.
The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, or R-CALF, is still fighting the importation of cattle from Canada. The group returned to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a Montana judge denied its request for a hearing on a permanent ban of cattle and boxed beef from Canada due to concerns over BSE. A brief of R-CALF's argument is due September 21 .. with a response from USDA due a month later.