Mad Cow: A Case Study in Canadian-American Relations

This paper comprehensively describes and analyzes how the BSE crisis affected the industry and the relations between the two countries. First, it describes the animal and human forms of the disease and the complex risks these pose for public health officials. Through the export of infected cows or contaminated feed, the disease spread from Britain,to the European continent, and then to the North American and Asian continents. The paper then discusses how the international community has tried to deal with BSE to help countries protect their domestic herds without imposing undue trade restrictions. The paper examines the outbreak of the disease first in Canada, and then in the United States, and explains how a complex set of regulatory measures were needed to restore trade in both Canadian and American cattle and beef products. Finally, it evaluates the trade impact on both countries, the trade and political lessons learned from the crisis, and what recommendations Canada should consider as a result.

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