Canada confirms BSE in beef cow

by Erica Shaffer
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OTTAWA, Ontario – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a cow from Alberta. The CFIA launched an investigation. The case was detected through Canada's national BSE surveillance program.

“As part of the investigation, the CFIA is seeking to confirm the age of the animal, its history and how it became infected,” the agency said in a statement. “The investigation will focus in on the feed supplied to this animal during the first year of its life. The agency will also trace out all animals of equivalent risk. Equivalent risk animals will be ordered destroyed and tested for BSE.”

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) said the organization "has complete confidence" in the CFIA and the investigation underway.

“The finding of a case of BSE in beef cow in Alberta, while unfortunate, demonstrates the robustness of the National BSE Surveillance Program Canada has in place,” CCA said in a statement. “BSE is on the decline in Canada and globally. It is not unexpected for cases to be found as efforts continue around the world to eradicate classic BSE. This is an isolated case; Canada’s previous confirmed BSE case was reported in 2011.”

Canada will report its findings to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Canada achieved “controlled BSE risk” status under the OIE, CFIA noted, and this most recent case should not affect current exports of Canadian cattle or beef.

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