Pricy brains

Beef producers want billions.

Canadian beef packers are asking the federal government for an annual payment of $26 million to cover the cost of disposing of risky cattle parts under stringent health rules aimed at preventing the spread of mad cow disease.

Packers want $31.70 for each animal over the age of 30 months to cover the cost of disposing of specified risk materials (SRM), such as the brain, spinal cord, tonsils and other parts that are most likely to carry mad cow disease, a Canadian Meat Council official said Wednesday.

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