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New BSE prevention rules pose a challenge for industry

10 July 2007

CHILLIWACK, B.C. - Cattle carcasses hang from giant hooks on the ceiling at B.C.'s largest slaughterhouse. Rivulets of blood and bone dust trail off into drains on the cement kill-room floor.
The animals' lungs sit in a bucket waiting for a local farmer to fetch them for his hungry mink. Other animal parts -- the brains, spines and organs that can harbour the infectious prions that cause mad cow disease -- disappear down special chutes. They fall into bins that will be taken by waste-hauling trucks along the Trans-Canada Highway to Calgary and turned into everything from chicken feed to dog chow.

But this elaborate and controversial recycling system becomes illegal in Canada this week as part of the federal government's sweeping "enhanced" feed ban.

On Thursday, cattle tissues linked to the spread of mad cow disease must be removed from carcasses and destroyed or permanently contained. They are no longer allowed in pet or animal feed, and are banned from fertilizers and bone meal widely used on farms and home gardens.

The change sounds straightforward, but insiders say it is anything but.

"It's a bureaucratic nightmare," says Dave Fernie, who runs a small slaughterhouse in the B.C. interior.

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Source: StarPhoenix


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