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Schedule settled for Taiwanese inspections of U.S slaughterhouses

2012/05/05 22:39:22

Taipei, May 5 (CNA) Taiwanese officials left Saturday for aweek-long visit to slaughterhouses in the United States toreview beef safety after the latest mad cow disease case was reported there in late April.

The delegation, which consists of officials from the Council of Agriculture, the Department of Health and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, is scheduled to spend May 5-8, U.S. time, visiting slaughterhouses, feed suppliers and laboratories in states acrossthe U.S., including Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Utah, Colorado and California.

On May 9, it will be briefed by the U.S Department of Agriculture to get a further understanding of the monitoring measures in place, as well as information on the discovery of the fourth U.S. case of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

They will then visit the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Iowa the following day to learn about how the lab examined the latest BSE case.

Their last stop will be to an animal rendering plant May 11, where dead or sick animals and livestock are processed into animal-feed powder and fat. However, it is not yet certain whether the plant is the one the BSE-infected cow was sent to.

The agriculture council added that the trip will help the delegationfind answers to the questions regarding how the carcass of the BSE cowwas processed, whether the 1,200 cows kept on the same ranch as theBSE-infected cow could also be infected, or where the dairy productsproduced at the ranch have been sold.

(By Yang Su-min and Nell Shen)