Mad Cow Disease :: Mad Cow Disease BSE confirmed in a bull from Alberta

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the diagnosis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a mature bull from Alberta.

The animal’s carcass is under CFIA control, and no part of it entered the human food or animal feed systems.

Preliminary information indicates that the age of the animal falls well within the age range of previous cases detected in Canada under the national BSE surveillance program. This signifies that the animal was exposed to a very small amount of infective material, most likely during its first year of life.

An epidemiological investigation directed by international guidelines is underway to examine what the animal was fed early in its life and to identify its herdmates at the time. All findings will be publicly released once the investigation concludes.

Under Canada’s enhanced feed ban, which comes into effect on July 12, 2007, BSE should be eliminated from the national cattle herd within approximately 10 years. The CFIA expects the periodic detection of a limited number of cases to continue as the level of BSE continues to decline.

The animal was identified at the farm level by the national surveillance program, which has detected all cases found in Canada. The program targets the highest risk cattle populations and has tested roughly 150,000 animals since 2003. The surveillance results reflect an extremely low incidence of BSE in Canada.

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