Bovine Tuberculosis investigation wrapping up

From paNOW
February 13, 2018 - 2:00pm

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is providing an update into its' investigation of a bovine tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in Western Canada, impacting 30,000 animals.

According to a statement on the agency's website, all quarantines have now been lifted as there have been no additional cases of bovine TB beyond the six animals from the single infected herd in Oct. 2016. 

Beef Production Specialist Karin Schmid, with Alberta Beef Producers, was the industry liason throughout the investigation. 

"We're extremely pleased that the quarantines have been lifted," she said. "It means we are getting close to the end of the investigation, however we still do have to wait for final culture results."

Approximately 11,500 animals were destroyed in Alberta and Saskatchewan as a result of the outbreak, which started after a cow from Alberta, slaughtered in the U.S, was found to have the disease.

"When it happened in 2016. I think it took everyone by surprise and there was quite a bit of hardship," Schmid said.

Producers have been paid $39 million in compensation. This includes compensation for animals that were destroyed from the infected herd and co-mingled herds, as well as animals that required post-mortem testing. The producers whose herds were depopulated and have completed the cleaning and disinfection of their premises have restocked their herds. Schmid said all the reports she has heard indicate producers were satisfied with the compensation. Moving forward, she said the investigation has raised the emphasis on biosecurity.

"I do know that there will be some active surveillence of the elk in Alberta going forward, but we don't anticipate any further urveillence of the cattle for TB," she said.

Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, issued a statement on behalf of the Federal Government.

"I am pleased that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has now removed all quarantines from farms with cattle in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and that no additional cases of bovine tuberculosis have been detected," he said. "While the investigation will not be officially closed until final laboratory culture results are received later this spring, this is a positive step forward for Canada's cattle industry."


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