Mistake to Lift Brazilian beef ban
Frightened housewife

A distraught Monica Ferguson (left) talks 
with reporters in Bacebridge stockyard.

BRACEBRIDGE, ONT.  (NP) Mrs. John Ferguson, a dairy farmer's wife in Muskoka's cattle and pig farming region, is terrified that Canada has done the wrong thing in lifting the ban on Brazilian beef. The ban, which many saw as a crass political move connected with the dispute with Brazil over subsidies to aircraft manufacturers, was "proper and right" according to Mrs. Ferguson.

She says that last Friday night after her husband came home after Happy Hour at his curling club, he made himself a corned beef sandwich made from a tin of Hereford Brand Corned Beef. This is one of two brands Canada imports from Brazil. After eating the sandwich he lay down on the coach. He was just beginning to snore when, according to his wife, "all Hell broke loose."

"He got up and began bellowing like our prize bull, Jupiter. He smashed through the living room window and headed for the field where he tried to mount Bessie, our best milk producer, then he lowered his head and charged the fence knocking it down." She said it took two stable boys until dawn to track down her husband, lasso him and hog-tie his arms and legs together. "It had to be the corned beef," she said. "John only has one beer after curling and he never acted like this before."

Bracebridge Cattle Inspector, Sid Martin, said that Mr. Ferguson might have contacted Foot and Mouth disease, as his behaviour had some similarities with cattle that have contracted the virus that cause that disease. A local veterinarian, Daisy Templehoff,  wasn't so sure. "People don't usually get Foot and Mouth unless they live intimately with the cattle they own, "she said. Mrs. Ferguson didn't think so either. "John hardly ever sleeps in the barn, unless we have a lot of company, like when my brothers and their families come to visit." 

Mr. Ferguson is under a vets' care in a holding pen at the Bracebridge Stockyards. He is being carefully watched for any signs of the dementia that afflicts sufferers of the deadly BSE pathogen that causes Mad Cow Disease. A stockyard spokesman would not speculate if Mr. Ferguson would be put down if he showed symptoms of the terrible disease. Notional Pest with files from Pig and Beef Observer Monthly, Bracebridge