New quarantines added in bovine TB probe

About 50 premises in Alberta and Saskatchewan are now under federal quarantine as the hunt continues for animals exposed this fall to one of six Alberta cattle with bovine tuberculosis.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced Wednesday it had added more premises to the quarantined list, covering over 26,000 animals, including infected premises. The 50-odd properties are mostly in southeastern Alberta but include “approximately five” in southwestern Saskatchewan.

The number of cattle confirmed to be infected with TB has remained at six since Nov. 28. CFIA at that time roughly estimated the number of cattle exposed to TB at 10,000, across 18 premises deemed infected.

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All the infected and reactor animals have been or are due to be destroyed, and all farms now under quarantine are scheduled for on-farm testing, CFIA said.

Given the current pace of testing, CFIA said Wednesday, it expects all on-farm testing for “test-eligible” quarantined animals to be completed by early January.

The last round of reactor animals to be slaughtered showed no TB lesions or other clinical signs of the disease, the agency noted.

The agency said its veterinarians have visited all producers with infected premises in person, “to answer questions and provide information on what to expect.”

All impacted producers have now been provided with a “point of contact” within CFIA to answer questions, the agency noted.

CFIA “compensation teams” are still meeting with affected producers, the agency said, “to ensure they have all the information required to expedite their claims.”

While a compensation formula has long been in place for owners of livestock ordered destroyed in a reportable disease outbreak, a separate AgriRecovery program was promised Nov. 30 for producers who have to feed and maintain TB-quarantined cattle they can’t move or sell.

Federal officials have also discussed setting up a secure feedlot site to accommodate quarantined cattle, but no site has yet been finalized. –– Network

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