Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Mad cow case in Texas has implications for Australia.



Download PDFDownload PDF

Gavan O'Connor MP MEMBER FOR CORIO SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES

4 May 2004

MAD COW CASE IN TEXAS HAS IMPLICATIONS FOR AUSTRALIA

Reports from Texas USA today that a cow with a suspected case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) - mad cow disease - was destroyed before it could be tested are of concern to Australia as the Howard Government has apparently agreed to harmonize Australia’s BSE standards with those of the United States of America.

The Report of the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for Trade in Animals and Animal Products on the FTA website of the US Trade Negotiator states:

“…we are encouraged by Australia’s overtures to harmonize BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) standards between our two nations…”

Australia has never had a case of BSE and has a rigorous set of procedures in place designed to keep this terrible disease out.

It is important that no parts of this rigorous regime are negotiated away as part of the FTA deal.

Agriculture Minister Warren Truss must explain exactly what commitment the Howard Government has made towards harmonizing Australia’s BSE standards with those of the United States.

Australia’s procedures for keeping Australia free of mad cow disease must be based entirely on the best science available and not be the subject of any negotiations associated with the FTA.

Contact Gavan O’Connor on 0418 518 528 Bernie Eades on 0419 664 016