OTTAWA, Ontario – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced plans to focus on a single farming operation following the cull of cattle from 18 farms the agency declared to be infected with bovine TB. However, the number of infected cattle remains at six, and all six cattle were from the same farming operation.
CFIA culled all of the cattle that reacted to the initial screening test, and then conducted enhanced post-mortem examinations that included more detailed inspection for the presence of lesions related to bovine TB. The agency said the investigation revealed a low risk that the disease was further transmitted by the cattle that co-mingled with the cattle from the infected farming operation on a community pasture.
CFIA also eliminated the risk of further spread of bovine TB since all mature cattle were culled. The CFIA is now turning its investigation to tracing activities to one farming operation.
“Based on the evidence that we have gathered to date, the agency has determined that the investigation will be focused on the single infected farming operation,” CFIA said in a statement. “This path forward is only possible as long as no new cases of tuberculosis are identified. While there was strong evidence that there could have been a high risk of disease spread, the initial test results are showing a more encouraging outcome. There have been no new confirmed cases of bovine tuberculosis related to this investigation.”
Herds that currently are under quarantine have received animals from the infected farm, CFIA said, and the agency is conducting tests on those animals. Animals that react to the tests will be humanely culled and subject to an enhanced post-mortem examination. Herds with no reactions will be released from quarantine.
“Testing of herds identified through tracing activities will begin in the fall, because calving season has already started in Western Canada,” CFIA said. “This will minimize stress on cows that are pregnant or have recently given birth. It will also allow cattle from these low-risk herds to proceed to summer pasture.
“We have worked closely with the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan,” the agency added. “We all agree that the evidence supports focusing the investigation on the infected farming operation.”