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Latest BSE finding no cause for concern

EDMONTON, Alta. -- With Canada's fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) confirmed in an animal from ...

EDMONTON, Alta. — With Canada’s fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) confirmed in an animal from an Alberta farm, the province’s Agriculture Minister is not expecting the finding to affect the country’s cattle trade.

The BSE finding was confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency by tissue it collected under the Canada-Alberta BSE Surveillance Program. Despite the finding, Canada is still well within the controlled risk category for BSE, as recognized by the international organization for animal health.

“As the CFIA stated, there is no threat to human health from this additional case of BSE. No part of the animal entered either the human food or animal feed chain,” stated Horner. “The most effective way of ensuring food safety-a ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban and the removal of specified risk materials. This is already being done in Canada.

“That said, we do not expect this additional case to affect our trade with other countries, who continue to recognize the steps taken by both the U.S. and Canada to eliminate this disease from the North American herd.”

Canada has tested 87,000 cattle for BSE since the disease was first detected in 2003, of which more than 43,000 were tested in Alberta.

The most recent case was discovered in a six-year-old cross-bred cow. While this cow was born after the 1997 ban on feeding rendered carcasses of ruminants (such as sheep, goats, cattle, deer and elk) to other ruminants, it is likely contaminated feed caused the infection.

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