B.S.E. case identified in British Columbia

by Keith Nunes
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OTTAWA — A 7-year-old dairy cow from British Columbia has been diagnosed with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. This is the third case of B.S.E. to be reported by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency since June and the 15th overall in Canada.

The cow’s birth farm has been identified, and an investigation is under way. The C.F.I.A. is tracing the animal's herd mates at the time of birth and examining possible sources of infection.

The two other cases of B.S.E. that have been identified since June were in British Columbia and Alberta. The first B.C. positive animal was identified publicly on June 23 and was a Holstein cow born on April 22, 2003. It was 61 months of age at the time of death. The animal was born, raised and spent its entire life on the same farm. The cow had been non-ambulatory and receiving medical care for two weeks. However, when the animal’s condition failed to improve, the producer elected to destroy it humanely. Because it met the inclusion criteria of Canada’s National BSE Surveillance Program, arrangements were made to forward appropriate samples for laboratory evaluation.

The Alberta B.S.E. case was announced on Aug. 15 and involved a 6-year old beef cow. No part of the animal’s carcass entered the human food or animal feed systems. Despite the fact it did not enter the food or feed supply chain, the government of Mexico closed its market to Alberta beef for approximately two months.

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