November 11, 2016
Canada is currently investigating a reported case of bovine tuberculosis in southeast Alberta, according to the country's chief veterinary officer, Dr. Harpreet S. Kochhar.
The investigation was initiated after Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) was notified in late September by the US Department of Agriculture that bovine TB had been detected in an Alberta cow that was slaughtered at a facility in the US.
The CFIA in a situation report on Thursday, Nov. 10, said there was one confirmed case of bovine TB, whose source of infection was unknown.
"There is one infected herd located on three premises and the removal and humane destruction of animals is continuing," the report, posted on the CFIA website, said.
'Officially bovine TB-free'
This finding, according to the CFIA, did not affect Canada's current status as officially bovine TB-free. "While Canada is considered to be officially free of bovine TB today, isolated cases may occur", it said.
The bovine TB investigation involves quarantines and movement restrictions on any implicated farms. Testing, humane destruction, and disposal are carried out as required.
Around 33 farms in Alberta and two others in Saskatchewan have been placed under quarantine and movement controls.
"Additional premises may need to be quarantined while cattle are tested for bovine TB", Kochhar said in a statement.
Probe to last several months
"We recognise that the quarantines and movement controls are having a significant impact on producers, especially those that planned on fall sales of their animals", he added.
The investigation is expected to last for several months as it involves a "significant number of herds" and requires the tracing of the movement of animals for the past five years plus testing.
Kochhar said the CFIA would compensate producers for any animals ordered destroyed and that producers might be eligible for assistance for expenses not covered by the CFIA's compensation authority from other programs involving Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Alberta Agriculture and Forests.
For regular updates on the investigation, you may visit inspection.gc.ca/tb.-Rick Alberto