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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the diagnosis of bovine
spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), February 8, 2007
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 herd mates at the time. All findings will be publicly released once the
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 finding of a mature animal should not impact Canada's BSE country
categorization submission to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The
science-based BSE risk-level determination process requires that a country is
able to demonstrate a full understanding of the pathways that resulted in BSE
exposure and expression, as well as the implementation of appropriate
comprehensive measures to block those pathways and protect human and animal
health, leading to the eradication of the disease over time.
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
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