OTTAWA – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed Feb. 7 the diagnosis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a mature bull from Alberta.
The animal’s carcass is under the agency’s control, and no part of it entered the human food or animal feed systems.
Preliminary information indicates the animal’s age falls within the age range of previous cases detected in Canada under the national BSE surveillance program. Canadian officials say this signifies the animal was exposed to a small amount of infective material, most likely during its first year of life.
An epidemiological investigation is under way to examine what the animal was fed early in its life and to identify its herdmates at the time.
The USDA sent an official to participate in the investigation.
The animal was identified at the farm level by the national surveillance program, which has detected all cases found in Canada.
The program targets the highest risk cattle populations and has tested roughly 150,000 animals since 2003.
Not so fast. The National Farmers Union used the latest case of mad cow disease to blast the USDA’s plan to allow live cattle imports from Canada, including animals born after March 1, 1999.
“Today’s confirmation of Canada’s ninth BSE case is further proof the country does not have its BSE problem under control,” said NFU President Tom Buis. “The infected animals age is 6 and a half years, which falls within the rage of previous cases.”
The farm group also reiterated its call for a mandatory country-of-origin labeling in light of the newly surfaced case.
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