Canadian officials announced May 20 that a single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy was confirmed in an 8-year-old Canadian-born cow in the province of Alberta, the first case of BSE in the country since 1993 when a case of BSE was identified in an animal imported from the United Kingdom. As of June 3, no other Canadian cows had tested positive for the disease, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
After the BSE case was confirmed, Canadian officials quarantined 17 farms where the diseased cow may have lived, where her offspring lived, or that may have shared a common feed source, and began slaughtering and testing the animals for BSE, according to the CFIA. Several countries, including the United States, Mexico, Australia, and several Asian countries, have banned imports of Canadian beef and cattle since the announcement. Canadian and U.S. officials also recalled some dried dog food products that may have contained rendered material from the diseased cow. More information on the U.S. recall is available at www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2003/NEW00910.html.
More than 1,160 Canadian cattle had been slaughtered for BSE testing, said Dr. Brian Evans, the chief veterinary officer of the CFIA in a statement June 2. All the animals on the farm where the initial diseased cow lived the last four years of her life have been slaughtered and they tested negative, Dr. Evans said. Three herds containing offspring of the diseased cow and a herd that co-mingled with the diseased animal's herd have also been slaughtered and they tested negative. Partial results from other herds where the cow may have lived also have come back negative.
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