As of Dec. 7, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed six cases of bovine TB. This number includes the cow that was confirmed to have the disease when it was slaughtered in the U.S. All confirmed cases are still from one infected herd located on 18 premises.
Approximately 50 premises are under quarantine — mostly in Alberta, with no more than five in Saskatchewan. More than 26,000 animals are under quarantine, including those on the infected premises. Testing on quarantined farms is expected to be completed by early January. The last round of reactor animals that were humanely slaughtered showed no lesions or other clinical signs of the disease.
Affected producers are eligible for an advance up to $400,000, with the first $100,000 being interest free under the Advance Payments Program. In addition to being deprived of income because they haven’t been able to sell their calves, affected producers are facing huge feed bills and many are struggling because their feedyards weren’t designed to hold so many animals. Alberta Beef Producers is still working to find a feedlot for quarantined calves, but hasn’t been successful so far, executive director Rich Smith said on Dec. 12.