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From: TSS ()
Subject: BSE CASE CONFIRMED IN ALBERTA
Date: December 18, 2007 at 8:27 am PST

BSE CASE CONFIRMED IN ALBERTA
OTTAWA, December 18, 2007 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has
confirmed the diagnosis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a
13-year-old beef cow from Alberta. The animal's carcass is under CFIA
control, and no part of it entered the human food or animal feed systems.

Canada has a suite of robust BSE control measures exceeding the recommended
international standards. This year, the World Organization for Animal Health
(OIE) categorized Canada as a Controlled Risk country for BSE. This status
acknowledges the effectiveness of Canada’s surveillance, risk mitigation and
eradication measures. This case will not affect Canada’s risk status.

Canada has taken all necessary measures to achieve the eventual elimination
of BSE from the national cattle herd. The enhanced feed ban, which came into
effect on July 12, 2007, is designed to prevent more than 99 percent of
potential BSE infectivity from entering the Canadian feed system. The feed
ban prohibits cattle-derived materials with potential to harbour BSE
infectivity, such as the brain and spinal cord, from being used in all
animal feeds, pet foods and fertilizers.

The CFIA expects to detect a small number of cases over the next 10 years as
Canada progresses towards its goal of eliminating the disease from the
national cattle herd.

This detection confirms the ongoing high level of commitment and stewardship
on the part of Canadian cattle producers to food safety and animal health.
The Alberta animal was identified at the farm level by the national
surveillance program, which has detected all BSE cases found in Canada. The
program targets cattle most at risk and has tested about 190,000 animals
since 2003. The surveillance results reflect an extremely low incidence of
BSE in Canada.

The age of the infected animal falls within the age range of previous cases
detected in Canada under the national BSE surveillance program. The animal
was born before the implementation of Canada’s feed ban in 1997.

An epidemiological investigation directed by international guidelines is
underway to identify the animal’s herdmates at the time of birth and the
pathways by which it might have become infected. All findings will be
publicly released once the investigation concludes.

- 30 -

For information:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Media relations: 613-228-6682

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/heasan/disemala/bseesb/ab2007/11notavie.shtml


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TSS




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