OTTAWA, Ontario – At least 10,000 cattle will be culled, and another 22,000 animals are under quarantine as animal health officials and ranchers in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan work to contain an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis (TB).
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reported that the affected cattle are considered “high risk” for contracting or transmitting the disease, although to date there remains only six confirmed cases of bovine TB. An additional 12 properties were added to the list of quarantined premises, bringing the total to 18.
“Based on an assessment of the situation in the affected premises we have classified 12 of the premises under quarantine as part of the expanded herd,” CFIA said in a statement. “The 12 premises include cattle that spent time co-mingling with the infected herd and are considered at risk for transmission of bovine TB.”
Ranchers who are losing cattle will be compensated for their animals, and only cattle that test negative for bovine TB will be available for human consumption, according to CFIA.
The agency said more than 40 ranches are affected by quarantines and movement controls. Most of the ranches are in Alberta, with no more than five in Saskatchewan. CFIA expects the numbers will change as the investigation continues.