BSE Confirmed In Manitoba Cow

CANADA - Final test results have confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a mature cross-bred beef cow from Manitoba.
calendar icon 5 July 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a comprehensive investigation. Officials have confirmed the animal was purchased by the owner as part of an assembled group of cattle in 1992. This means that the animal was at least 15 years of age and would have been born well before the 1997 introduction of Canada’s feed ban.

As a priority, investigators are attempting to locate the birth farm, which will provide the basis needed to identify the animal’s herdmates and feed to which it may have been exposed at a young age. Given the animal’s age, investigative efforts may be constrained by few surviving animals and limited sources of information, such as detailed records. A calf born to the affected animal in 2004 is also being traced.

The safety of Canada’s food supply remains protected through the removal of specified risk material (SRM) from all cattle slaughtered for human consumption. SRM are cattle tissues that have been shown in infected cattle to contain concentrated levels of the BSE agent. This measure is internationally recognized as the most effective means to protect the safety of food from BSE. On June 26, 2006, the CFIA announced regulatory enhancements to Canada’s feed ban, which further strengthen the animal feed system.

The detection of this case demonstrates the ongoing effectiveness of Canada’s surveillance program, which targets cattle most at risk of BSE. Based on the over 115,000 animals tested since Canada’s first case in 2003, the CFIA is confident that the level of BSE in the national cattle herd is very low.

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