Bovine TB investigation spreads to Saskatchewan

By Nigel Maxwell
January 3, 2019 - 5:00pm

A spokesperson for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed a cattle herd in Central Saskatchewan was placed under movement controls, as a result of a case of a bovine tuberculosis (TB) discovered on a farm in British Columbia.

The investigation surrounding the case has expanded to three provinces and a total of 13 herds have been impacted. The numbers are expected to fluctuate as the investigation continues.

On Nov. 9, 2018, laboratory testing results confirmed a case of bovine TB on a farm in the southern interior of British Columbia. No portion of the animal entered the food chain.

The CFIA, in conjunction with the Province of British Columbia has launched an investigation. The CFIA is also carrying out testing to identify the strain of the bacterium, to determine any possible connections to previous bovine TB cases.

Only animals that have been placed under movement controls by the CFIA are prevented from being moved without permission. Producers that have not been contacted by the CFIA are allowed to move animals (including sending cattle to auction markets and feed lots) but must comply with livestock identification requirements. Producers with animals that are under movement controls must not move these animals without permission from the CFIA.

Ryder Lee, Chief Executive Officer of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association, said there was no cause for alarm at this stage of the investigaton.

"I take the feeling that I hope we are far enough removed that the connection might be slight but you just dont know how the cattle flowed or what happened," he said, adding he expected to hear another update from the CFIA on Monday.

There have been no bovine TB cases in Canada since 2016. Approximately 11,500 animals were destroyed in Alberta and Saskatchewan as a result of the outbreak, which started after a cow from Alberta, slaughtered in the U.S, was found to have the disease.

"The people that went through it last time, I think the CFIA dealt with them decently and fairtly. It was not pleasant to be a part of," Lee said.

 

 

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