Baldwinton herd gathered for slaughter
Cattle from a Saskatchewan farm are being loaded onto trucks for transport to Moose Jaw, where they will be slaughtered and tested for BSE in the wake of the discovery of so-called Mad Cow in Alberta last week.
The McCrea farm's 250 head of cattle will be the second herd from Saskatchewan to be destroyed by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) investigators.
Officials believe the Baldwinton farm may be the birthplace of a cow from Alberta that tested positive for the brain-wasting disease known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
- CBC.ca BACKGROUNDER: Mad Cow (opens a new browser window)
Trevor McCrea, who runs the cattle operation with his parents, says they want written confirmation of how the slaughter will affect their taxes and how much compensation they can expect from Ottawa.
He says they may even go to court to keep the animals until they get that documentation.
"We're not gonna stop them from taking the cows for slaughter," he says. "We know that has to happen at some time. All we're asking is for these other issues to be cleared up before we lose our cows."
Officials are still waiting for test results from the 49 cattle slaughtered in Lloydminster on Sunday.
McCrea says that he isn't surprised that CFIA officials plan to slaughter the herd.
"Our herd got named out in the public right from the start. It isn't just a location, it's an actual name that they can identify with a herd," he says, "I don't think they can leave it stay here. They have to take it because it's just too readily identifiable to the general public."
The McCrea's were hoping their animals might be spared through DNA comparisons using blood from their bulls, but inspectors say DNA analysis would not provide conclusive proof.
CFIA also announced plans to slaughtering an additional 550 animals from farms quarantined in Alberta and British Columbia.