US meat processor Swift & Company has reported a quarterly net loss due to the impact of BSE in Canada and the USA.

The company’s net loss for the third-quarter to 22 February was US$40.7m, a decline of $44.2m from the year-ago period, including $43m of charges related to the impact of the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, in North America during 2003

Swift said net sales for the quarter increased 11% to more than $2.2bn.

“The United States’ beef industry was significantly impacted by two BSE- related events last fall,” said John Simons, president and CEO of Swift & Company.

“The opening of the US border to Canadian boxed beef in September, in conjunction with the continued closure of the border to live cattle from Canada, put the entire US beef industry at a price disadvantage that continues to this day. That impact was amplified by the discovery of BSE in a single animal in Washington state last 23 December,” Simons added.