The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced Monday afternoon that it has confirmed the country's thirteenth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a cow in the western province of British Columbia. The government agency said the confirmation posed no threat to humans or other animals. No part of the animal entered the human food chain. The animal was detected through Canada's national BSE surveillance program. The CFIA has launched a comprehensive investigation in an effort to determine the birth farm of the animal.
In Canada the national surveillance program has tested more than 220,000 cattle since 2003. All cattle found with BSE have been detected in western Canada. In a statement, the agency noted "Canada's enhanced feed ban, introduced last summer, virtually eliminates the potential spread of BSE through the animal feed chain and places Canada on an accelerated path to eliminate BSE."
"As the level of BSE continues to decline, the periodic detection of a small number of cases is fully expected in line with the experience of other countries," CFIA said. The latest discovery is not expected to affect Canada's 'controlled risk' status at the World Organization for Animal Health. CFIA said it will report on further developments as its investigation continues.