News last update:6 Aug 2012

Ninth confirmed BSE case in Canada

A mature bull from Alberta has tested positive for mad cow disease. This is Canada's ninth confirmed case since 2003.

The animal died on a farm last week and tested positive for the disease. Its carcass is under Canadian Food Inspection Agency control and no part of it entered the human food or animal feed systems, the agency said Wednesday. The agency did not reveal where the animal was found or how old it was. "Where the animal is found at the time of its death is not as important as where it lived in its first year of life," said George Luterbach, the agency's senior veterinarian for Western Canada.

He said the agency is searching for animals born within a year of the bull that may have been exposed to the same feed source as the infected animal.

"These animals are removed, destroyed, tested and disposed of in a manner that they do not enter the feed system," Luterbach said. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, in a written statement, said the infected bull may have been exposed to a very small amount of infectious material, most likely during its first year of life.

The first case of mad cow disease confirmed in Canada was in 1993 in a cow imported from Britain. That was it until 2003, when BSE was identified in an Alberta cow. Since then, eight other cases have been identified, including the bull identified on Wednesday.

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