The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a 50-month-old dairy cow from Alberta. The animal was first reported on Monday, July 10, based on preliminary test results.
The CFIA has located the birth farm, and investigators are tracing other cattle born on the premises within 12 months before or after the birth of the affected animal.
A statement from Secretary Mike Johanns acknowledges that although the United States and Canada have a strong system in place to protect animal and human health, "the diagnosis of BSE in an animal born roughly four and half years after the implementation of the 1997 ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban does raise questions that must be answered."
Canada extend an invitation to American health officials to participate in the epidemiological investigation. Johanns says he is dispatching a USDA expert to participate in the investigation of this case, particularly as it relates to how this animal may have been exposed to BSE infected material. "We have been assured by our Canadian counterparts that they welcome having our experts participate side-by-side with their investigators," he adds.