Last week Canada confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. This week BSE is again popping up on the radar screen, with another potential case in Alberta.
Preliminary screening testing of a 50-month old dairy cow could not rule out BSE as part of Canada's surveillance program, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Additional tests are now being run on the cow from Alberta at the National Reference Laboratory in Winnipeg.
The CFIA has launched an investigation to collect additional information about the affected animal. In addition, the CFIA will identify other animals of equivalent risk, namely cattle born on the same farm within 12 months before and after the affected animal. Any live animals found from this group will be segregated and tested.
Given its age, this animal would have been exposed to the BSE agent after the 1997 introduction of Canada's feed ban, likely during its first year of life. An exhaustive investigation to examine possible routes of infection has begun on the farm.