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Alberta cow tests positive for atypical BSE

Alberta cow tests positive for atypical BSE

CFIA and Alberta officials are meeting Monday to discuss the situation

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Officials from the Alberta government and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are meeting Monday after a cow in the province tested positive for atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development Minister Nate Horner publicized the positive test on Dec. 17.

“Recently, an older cow (8.5-years-old) in Alberta tested positive for atypical BSE,” he said in a statement. “Atypical BSE presents no risk to human health, is not transmissible, and this case is not expected to have market impacts.

This marks Alberta’s first case of BSE in nearly six years.

The CFIA notified the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about the case on Dec. 17.

Atypical BSE differs from Classical counterpart.

Atypical BSE “is believed to occur spontaneously in all cattle populations,” the OIE says.

Classical BSE occurs after cattle ingest “prion contaminated feed.”

In May, Canada received an OIE designation as a negligible BSE risk 18 years after an initial outbreak.

This positive atypical BSE test “will not affect the OIE negligible risk status of Canada,” the CFIA said.

The OIE’s website also states atypical BSE doesn’t affect risk status recognition “as it can spontaneously occur in any cattle population.”

Farms.com has contacted members of Alberta’s beef sector for comment.


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