Six quarantines lifted in bovine TB probe

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Six premises deemed to be “low-risk” have been released from federal quarantine as officials continue their hunt for Alberta and Saskatchewan cattle exposed to bovine tuberculosis.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Wednesday reported it had lifted movement controls on six premises where “appropriate testing” has been completed on cattle so far in the agency’s probe.

Quarantines still apply on about 45 premises — mostly in southeastern Alberta, with “no more than five” in southwestern Saskatchewan — covering about 26,000 cattle.

That figure includes 18 premises where cattle are confirmed to have been exposed to one of the six TB-positive animals found so far in this investigation. Animals now considered part of that “herd” include those which commingled with TB-infected animals on community pasture.

An estimated 10,000 cattle and calves from those 18 premises have been or are booked to be destroyed. Meat from destroyed animals that are later ruled to have been TB-negative will be eligible for food use.

At the current pace of testing, all on-farm testing for eligible animals now under quarantine is expected to be completed by early January, CFIA said Wednesday.

However, while the number of quarantines has decreased, CFIA said it still expects to identify “additional premises that will need to be subject to quarantine and movement controls.”

The quarantines were imposed following a confirmed case of TB in a cow from Alberta after it was slaughtered at a U.S. packing plant earlier this fall. The other five TB-positive Alberta cattle were announced Nov. 23 with no new cases since then. — Network

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