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Canada finds 15th BSE case in B. C.

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency doesn’t expect the discovery of Canada’s 15th case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease) to affect exports of Canadian cattle or beef.

CFIA on Nov. 17 confirmed BSE in a seven-year-old B. C. dairy cow, which was found through the national BSE surveillance program. No part of the animal’s carcass went into the food or feed chain, CFIA said.

Though the agency didn’t specify where the animal was found, it said the animal’s birth farm has been identified and an investigation is underway, tracing the animal’s birth herdmates and possible sources of infection.

Though the animal was born well after Canada imposed its ban on ruminant-to-ruminant feeding in 1997, CFIA noted its age and location “are consistent with previous cases detected in Canada.”

The animal is Canada’s 15th case of BSE.

Canada remains classified as a “controlled risk” country for BSE, as recognized by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

CFIA said its ongoing BSE surveillance program has been “highly successful in demonstrating the low level of BSE in Canada” and “continues to play an important role in Canada’s strategy to manage BSE.”

The agency has previously said that as the level of BSE in this country continues to decline, detection of a small number of cases from time to time is fully expected and “in line with the experiences of other countries.”

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