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Canada Exceeds 2004 BSE Testing Targets

by 5m Editor
29 October 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Canada has surpassed this year's national target for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) surveillance. As of October 27, 2004, more than 8,600 animals have been tested for the disease this year, with all results returning negative.

Canada Exceeds 2004 BSE Testing Targets - CANADA - Canada has surpassed this year's national target for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) surveillance. As of October 27, 2004, more than 8,600 animals have been tested for the disease this year, with all results returning negative.

"Reaching this year's target ahead of schedule shows that Canada is taking its surveillance responsibilities seriously. High-risk cattle are being reported and tested for BSE," remarked Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Andy Mitchell. "This is a very positive first step, and I am confident that we can carry our current momentum forward as we further intensify our surveillance levels."

Canada's surveillance program has tested cattle for BSE since 1992. Following the confirmation of the disease in North America, the Government of Canada announced its intention to increase surveillance levels to at least 30,000 tests annually. This level of surveillance is required to adequately determine the prevalence of BSE in the national herd and to verify that national control measures are limiting the spread of the disease.

Following a phased approach, the Government indicated that 8,000 animals would be tested in 2004, followed by at least 30,000 animals in subsequent years. The surveillance program focuses on testing high-risk cattle: dead, dying, diseased and down cattle over 30 months of age and cattle showing neurological symptoms consistent with BSE.

Last month, the Government announced a BSE surveillance reimbursement program and education campaign to encourage producers to report animals for BSE testing. The reimbursement program partially offsets producers' costs related to veterinary examination and carcass disposal when these activities result in the collection of an eligible brain sample, which is required for testing. The education campaign identifies the high-risk cattle that should be tested and promotes a toll-free number, 1-866-400-4244, which producers from across Canada can call to report animals for testing.

Source: CNW Telbec - 28th October 2004

5m Editor