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Two More Herds Quarantined

WASHINGTON, DC - Two more herds of cattle in Washington State were quarantined over the weekend, the U.S. Agriculture Department reported.

The USDA stated that three animals was located at a facility in Tenino, WA, and one additional animal was located in Connell. The state has quarantined the Tenino facility in order to facilitate the investigation. In total, 23 of the 81 cows that came from Canada have been located.

A total of six American herds have been quarantined since the first U.S. case of mad cow disease was announced on Dec. 23.

The USDA said its newest information showed at least three herdmates of the infected cow were sent to a dairy farm in Tenino and at least six went to a farm in Connell. In addition one was discovered at a facility in Quincy and three in Mattawa. All told investigators have found 23 of the 81 Canadian cattle they sought, a USDA spokeswoman said.

However, the total number of Canadian animals the USDA is trying to track increased to 98 on Monday, Jan. 19, after officials said they confirmed a second group of cattle was imported from the same Alberta farm where the infected cow was born. The second group came to the United States at a later time, but the USDA has not yet identified the specific date.

The USAD said 129 animals from the index premises have been killed and sampled, and to date 30 samples from the index herd have completed testing, with the results being negative.

In a related matter, representatives of the U.S., Mexico and Canada, meeting here on Jan. 16, expressed in a joint statement their intentions to ensure the continued safety of the North American food supply. They emphasized the importance of "maintaining consumer confidence in beef" and declared its "top priority" status in future discussions.

In addition to agreeing to the development of global incentives to control and eradicate BSE, the three representatives also said their governments would create sub-cabinet level officials to coordinate the ongoing interagency efforts with a goal of resuming exports.

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