Regulators Investigate Cattle Futures Trading Prior To Mad Cow Announcement

Market regulators are investigating whether commodities traders profited from advance knowledge of the first U.S. case of mad cow disease.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is looking into cattle futures trading data on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as far back as December ninth.

That's the day the diseased Canadian Holstein was slaughtered in Washington state, and two weeks before the Agriculture Department confirmed it as the country's first case of mad cow.

Investigators are targeting investors who made bets that cattle prices would decline prior to the December 23rd announcement by Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.

Officials at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are said to be "cooperating fully" with the probe.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.