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MCEC’s New Chairman Named

The levy-funded agency tasked with building cattle slaughter and beef-processing capacity in the province has named a new chairman.

Neil Van Ryssel, a dairyman and grain grower from Oakbank, has been named by Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk to replace outgoing chairman Bill Uruski on the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council (MCEC).

Uruski, a former agriculture minister (1981-87), has led the MCEC since its inception in 2006 but has “decided to spend more time to focus on family affairs,” the council said May 19.

“I am optimistic for the Manitoba beef industry as we work towards bringing new federally inspected beef plant capacity and other value-added cattle projects to the province,” Van Ryssel said.

The council has also elected member Albert Todosichuk as vice-chair and treasurer and member R. Harvey Harland as secretary. Shoal Lake cattle producer Don Yanick, another council member, also opted to step down this year due to family and farming commitments, the MCEC said.

“Case 16” Of BSE Found In Alta.

Few details are yet available as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency launches its investigation into what’s now Canada’s 16th case of BSE.

The CFIA confirmed May 15 that the carcass of the animal, an 80-month-old dairy cow from Alberta, did not enter the food or feed chains.

The six-year-old cow’s age and location make it “consistent with previous cases detected in Canada,” CFIA said, although it was born well after 1997, when Canada imposed its first ban on feeding of ruminant tissues to other ruminants.

The cow was detected through CFIA’s national surveillance program for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

The animal’s birth farm has also already been identified, CFIA said, and the agency’s investigation is underway, tracing the animal’s birth herd-mates and possible sources of infection.

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