11th case of mad cow disease confirmed in canada

11th case of mad cow disease confirmed in canada

An animal which was born before new feed regulations came into force has been confirmed to be infected with mad-cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE), says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The agency says the 11-year-old cow from Alberta had not entered the human food or animal feed systems, and the carcass in under CFIA control.

A month ago US authorities lifted all beef/cattle import restrictions on Canadian produce/animals, a ban which was imposed in 2003 when the first case was confirmed.

The CFIA informs that Canada has stringent BSE control measures which far exceed those recommended by international standards. It adds that this latest BSE case will not affect Canada's risk status, which is that of a Controlled Risk Country. When the World Organization for Animal Health categorizes a country with a Controlled Risk status it means it acknowledges that country's effective surveillance and eradications measures.

The CFIA informs that Canada has taken all possible steps to achieve and eventual elimination of BSE from national cattle. In July 2007 an enhanced feed ban was implemented. This ban should prevent over 99% of potential BSE infectivity from entering the country's food system. The ban forbids any part of the animals which may harbour BSE infectivity, such as the spinal cord or the brain from being used in fertilizers, animal feeds or pet foods.

However, this does not mean that Canada will be BSE-free during the next decade as there are still animals which were born before 1997, when the feed ban started. Nevertheless, the numbers will gradually go down until the risk is virtually gone.

This latest case was identified at farm level by the national surveillance program - this program has detected all BSE cases in the country. Animals that are most at risk are targeted by the program, which has so far tested over 190,000 animals. This infected animal is in the same age-group as the previous infected ones - they were all born before Canada's feed ban started in 1997.

Authorities are trying to identify the infected animal's herdmates at the time of birth, as well as pathways which may have led to its infection. The CDIA says all investigation results will be publicly released.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, this latest case will not change anything, as the risk (for USA importing Canadian produce) has already factored in some additional BSE cases in Canada.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Jan. 6, 2004: U.S. confirms Canada source of mad cow case (Video Medical And Professional 2018).

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