The National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a 6-year-old dairy cow from British Columbia, marking Canada's fifth case of BSE in an indigenous animal.
The cow was born after the implementation of Canada's feed ban in 1997, which was intended to limit the spread of BSE and eventually eradicate the disease. Similar situations are common to almost all BSE-affected countries that have introduced feed controls. The case has no bearing on the safety of Canadian beef, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported. No part of the cow entered the human food or animal feed systems.
The cow was identified on a farm in Fraser Valley, British Columbia, through the national BSE surveillance program. The feed ban and national surveillance program contribute to Canada's interlocking BSE controls. While the feed ban continues to limit the spread of BSE, Canada's national surveillance program monitors the health of the Canadian cattle herd. The national surveillance program, which targets cattle most at risk of having BSE, has tested more than 100,000 animals since 2003.
In January, BSE was detected in an approximately 6-year-old crossbred cow born and raised on a dairy farm in Alberta, Canada (see JAVMA, March 15, 2006). No part of the animal entered the human food or animal feed systems, the CFIA reported.
For updates on the British Columbia case, log on to www.inspection.gc.ca/english/toce.shtml and look under What's New for news releases.