Canada Confirms Fourth BSE Case

Animal is a six-year-old crossbred cow born and raised in Alberta. Compiled by staff



Published on: Jan 23, 2006

Monday the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy in an approximately six-year-old cross-bred cow born and raised in Alberta. No part of the animal entered the human food or animal feed systems.

This finding was identified through Canada’s national surveillance program, which targets cattle at highest risk of being infected with BSE. The program has tested more than 87,000 animals since Canada’s first BSE case in 2003.

The geographic location and age of this animal are consistent with the three domestic cases previously detected through the national BSE surveillance program and the current understanding of BSE in Canada. The clustering of these cases is examined in the epidemiological report, Canada’s Assessment of the North American BSE Cases Diagnosed from 2003 to 2005 (Part II), which is available on CFIA’s Web site.

The CFIA, working collaboratively with the producer and the Province of Alberta, has launched a comprehensive investigation into the feeding regime and storage practices employed on the farm, as well as the production and source of feeds delivered to the farm. Consistent with international standards, the CFIA will identify cattle born on the farm within 12 months before and after the affected animal, as well as offspring of the affected animal born during the last two years. Any live animals found from these groups will be segregated and tested.

Definitive conclusions regarding the source of infectivity cannot be made until the investigation is complete; however, it is probable that the source is contaminated feed. This scenario is consistent with Canada’s previous experience and that of the international community.

Japan's action Friday to halt beef trade with the United States does not impact Canada's beef imports to Japan. Canada does not allow any spinal materials in imports. The United States allows spinal material in cattle under 30 months of age. However, the specific agreement with Japan banned this material.