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The Impact of Mad Cow Disease in Quebec: What to Do with Animal Carcasses?

Author

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  • Bergeron, Nancy
  • Gagnon, Marie-France

Abstract

In recent years, after the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease) crisis in Europe, and after the first case of BSE was found in Alberta, both regulation and producers’ initiatives have lead to an ever smaller demand for meat meal and animal fat used in animal feed. Meat meal and animal fat were produced in great part from the rendering of carcasses, i.e., animals that died on the farm due to disease or accident. In Quebec, agricultural producers used to sell the carcasses to rendering plants. Now however, demand for meat meal and animal fat has all but disappeared, so producers must instead pay the rendering plants to dispose of the carcasses. The financial burden gives producers an incentive to get rid of the carcasses in less costly ways, not only by legal burial at the farm, but also by illegal disposal at the farm or elsewhere in nature (Deglise, 2003; Radio-Canada, 2003; Larivière, 2003a; Mercier, 2004). This leads to increasing environmental risks, specifically, soil, water and air pollution as well as potential health hazards, that need to be addressed.

Suggested Citation

  • Bergeron, Nancy & Gagnon, Marie-France, 2006. "The Impact of Mad Cow Disease in Quebec: What to Do with Animal Carcasses?," CAFRI: Current Agriculture, Food and Resource Issues, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, issue 07.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cafric:46358
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/46358
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
    3. Polasky, Stephen & Doremus, Holly, 1998. "When the Truth Hurts: Endangered Species Policy on Private Land with Imperfect Information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 22-47, January.
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