Cattlemen in Canada and the U.S. spoke out about the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Alberta this week.
R-CALF United Chief Executive Bill Bullard calls the case evidence of "a widespread epidemic that spans several provinces and over a decade in time."
"This suggests there has been widespread exposure of this disease in the Canadian cattle herd," he says.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association says they are waiting for more details about the case.
The Canadian Cattlemen's Association issued a statement Thursday saying that "the diagnosis of BSE in a mature bull in Alberta was, although unwelcome, not unexpected."
"Preliminary information indicates that the age of the animal falls well within the age range of previous cases detected in Canada under the national BSE surveillance program."
The CCA doesn't expect the discovery to affect U.S.-Canadian beef trade, and with good reason. USDA Secretary Mike Johanns backed up that expectation in a statement Thursday.
"Based on what is known at this time, I would not expect this Canadian detection to impact our trade with Canada," he says. "Regarding the proposed minimal risk rule that specifies additional movement of cattle and beef into the United States, we remain in an open comment period until March 12, 2007."