Food Safety and Inspection Service alerted Canadian authorities to the problem.

CALGARY, Alberta – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is investigating an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in Southeast Alberta, Canada.

The investigation began after inspectors with the US Dept. of Agriculture identified a case of bovine TB in a cow from Alberta that was exported and slaughtered in the United States. USDA notified CFIA about the detection in late September. At least 30 ranches in the province of Alberta have been quarantined as a result.

“Tracing work is currently underway to identify animals that may have been exposed to Bovine TB at individual premises and/or the Buffalo-Atlee and Suffield Block community pastures,” CFIA said in a notice to beef producers.

Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) reported on Oct. 28 that preliminary testing of the index herd has been completed and results are pending. Meanwhile, testing of other herds that had direct contact with the infected cow is proceeding.

“ABP is encouraging the CFIA and the Alberta government to provide an effective, rapid, and thorough investigation of this case,” the organization said in a news release. “We want the investigation completed as quickly as possible so producers can take steps to appropriately manage the quarantined cattle.”

Bovine tuberculosis is a federally reportable disease and Canada is considered to be officially free of the disease, according to ABP. Bovine TB is a contagious disease that animals usually acquire by inhaling or ingesting the Mycobacterium bovis organism. The disease primarily affects ruminants such as cattle, bison, elk, deer, goats, sheep and other ruminants; it can affect all types of mammals, including humans.