Canada Confirms Mad Cow Case

Canadian officials confirmed Tuesday afternoon that they had discovered one "isolated" case of mad cow disease in that country. The news prompted the USDA to declare an immediate halt to all imports of Canadian cattle into the U.S.

Reports of the mad cow disease case sent cattle futures plunging limit down Tuesday morning, but triggered a sharp rally in soybean and soymeal futures as traders speculated that Canada would ban feeding of bone meal.

A Canadian Beef Export Federation official told Reuters that one eight-year-old cow in Fairview, Alberta, tested positive recently for mad-cow disease in a test taken on Jan. 31.

"It was (detected) just a few days ago. The actual test was

taken Jan. 31 from a cow in Fairview, Alberta," the official said. "It's just one isolated case."

A U.S. cattle industry source told Reuters that a herd has been impounded in northern Alberta because of suspicions of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease.

Alberta accounts for nearly 60% of Canada's beef production. There are 5.5 million head of cattle in the western province.

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.