Canada confirmed its second case of mad cow disease, just days after the United States said it planned to reopen its border to Canadian beef, according to a Dow Jones report.



The dairy cow from Alberta, which was born in 1996, has tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, as mad cow disease is formally known, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Sunday. The results confirmed preliminary tests released earlier this week.



Despite learning of the new suspected case, the Bush administration said the next day that it would stand by its decision to renew Canadian cattle imports, expressing confidence that public health measures in both countries will protect U.S. livestock and consumers.



"I don't anticipate that this confirmation will change implementation of our rule," department spokeswoman Alisa Harrison said Sunday. "I think it's pretty much where we were last week. We've been working closely with Canadian officials."



The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said the infected cow did not enter the human food or animal feed supply and posed no risk to the public. Authorities said the cow was born in Alberta in 1996, prior to the introduction of the 1997 feed ban. It is suspected that the animal became infected by contaminated feed before the ban.



The USDA ruling, effective March 7, declared Canada a "minimal-risk region" so that cattle could be shipped into the United States under certain restrictions. The cattle must be slaughtered by the age of 30 months, which scientists say is too young to contract mad cow disease, and they must be transported in sealed containers to a feedlot or slaughter house.



While investigators have identified the latest infected animal's farm of origin, they were shifting their efforts Sunday to identify any other animals of similar risk - specifically, recently born offspring of the infected animal and cattle born on the same farm within a year of the infected animal.