COPY-Feds Give Up Investigation of Mad Cow Case in Alabama

WASHINGTON -- Federal agriculture officials have given up trying to track the origins of an Alabama cow infected with mad cow disease.

The trail went cold after seven weeks of investigation of more than three dozen farms, the Agriculture Department said in a report issued quietly late Tuesday.

A similar statement was issued by Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks on Monday.

In a separate investigation, the U-S is tracing 15 cattle imported from Canada that ate the same feed as an infected cow discovered last month in British Columbia. So far, the government has found one cow and intends to kill and test it, the Agriculture Department said.

While the Alabama traceback did not pan out, John Clifford, the USDA's chief veterinarian, said it is important to remember that people and animals are protected by a series of safeguards in the United States.

As part of the Alabama investigation, the Food and Drug Administration reviewed local feed mills and said they had complied with the ban on cattle remains.

The first American case of mad cow disease appeared in 2003 in Washington state in a Canadian-born cow. The disease was found again last June in a Texas cow.


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