- DUNCAN, B.C. - Acting
on suspicions that a herd of water buffalo may be contaminated with mad
cow disease, federal officials seized 14 of the animals Saturday from
a farm on Vancouver Island.
- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency took them from a
farm near Duncan so that they can be slaughtered and studied. Scientists
will look for evidence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).
- The people who own the property, Darrel and Anthea Archer,
had hoped to block the move. They said government veterinarians found no
signs of the disease in the herd.
- CFIA officials became concerned when Denmark reported
a case of BSE in a diary cow one month after the Archers imported their
animals from the same country in January 2000.
- The discovery of mad cow disease, as it's commonly called,
has led to the deliberate destruction of entire herds in Europe.
- There is no way to conclusively determine whether a live
animal is free of the neurological disease.
- "The water buffalo will be humanely euthanized and
their brains examined," said the CFIA's Dr. Cornelius Kiley. "We
need to take all of the imported animals before we can know for sure they
are all clean and do not have the BSE agent."
- Anthea Archer said she knows of no cases of water buffalo
having mad cow disease. She and her husband said they're confident the
tests will be negative and that they can resume their dream of breeding
the animals for export and cheese production.
- Officials from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency faced
a small group of protesters on the Archer farm as they rounded up the
herd's adult animals. The buffalo will be trucked to a facility in Lethbridge.
- Results from the CFIA test will be known in about four
weeks. The Archers hope if they come back negative, the herd's offspring
will be spared.
- Written by CBC News Online staff