BSE case sparks old fears

Over this past year, things have been looking up for the cattle industry.

Over this past year, things have been looking up for the cattle industry. With astoundingly high cattle prices, producers seemed to finally get some return for all of their long-run efforts.

But with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirming a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a progressive and fatal neurological disease found in cattle, in an Alberta beef cow this past week, that positive outlook may have been partially clouded.

The CFIA stated the infected cow was found on a farm in northern Alberta and no part of the animal carcass has made its way into human or animal food systems.

After confirmation of the case, an investigation was immediately launched by the CFIA to determine the age of the animal, its history and exactly how it became infected.

This latest case was detected through the national BSE surveillance program.

“The investigation will focus in on the feed supplied to this animal during the first year of its life,” stated a CFIA release. “The agency will also trace out all animals of equivalent risk. Equivalent risk animals will be ordered destroyed and tested for BSE.”

This was the first reported case of BSE in Canada since 2011. Canada still holds onto to its “controlled BSE risk” country status, a hurdle cleared in 2007, as recognized by the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Now it is to wonder if this recent case will affect cattle prices or the worst fear, again close international markets to Canadian beef ?

Experts are soothing industry fears, saying that this case won’t affect current exports of Canadian cattle or beef, mainly because the discovered case does not change

Canada’s controlled BSE risk status, although, South Korea has already announced that they have closed their border to all Canadian Beef imports.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association has noted that this reported case appears to be isolated and the finding should not impact current exports of Canadian cattle and beef.

They also added that the controlled risk status was something Canada gained due to effective BSE surveillance mitigation and eradication measures.

But let’s not forget how the first homegrown case of BSE in Alberta crippled the industry in 2003. International markets were closed to Canadian beef and the outlook was bleak.

It’s taken the cattle industry over a decade to recover, and this most recent case of BSE brings to light an important point – that the Canadian BSE surveillance program continues to play a very important role in managing BSE and producers should remain consistent with the process. Alberta has been operating an effective BSE surveillance program for the past few years and let’s hope that we can continue to follow the proper procedures to keep our beef safe.


Just Posted

WATCH: AFSC unveils new CEO

Steve Blakely comes to AFSC after a 40 year career in the finance sector

Lacombe Generals take commanding lead over Stony Plain with 7-3 win

Generals will look to eliminate the Eagles Wednesday night at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex

CACHS Knights take bronze medal in 1A Provincials

Knights takes out Stirling Lakers 82-69

Generals power through Game 3, winning 7-2

Seven-game series continues Saturday in Stony Plain

WATCH: Women’s Emergency Shelter holds 24th annual fundraising dinner

About 600 women and children used the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter last year

Rebels keep home-ice dream alive with 5-2 over ‘Canes

Red Deer look to steal both games against Kootenay this weekend

Shane McPhee pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Red Deer court Monday

A trial had been scheduled to run through to April 6th

Man charged after child abandoned in cold vehicle in Calmar

33 year old Aaron Blake Wilkinson charged after two-month old found in vehicle

A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

In a series of weekend tweets naming Mueller for the first time, Trump criticized the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

Three-car pile-up on Northstar Drive and 58th Street

No injuries reported at Thursday afternoon incident

B.C. teachers’ union to ask for higher salaries to help with shortages

B.C. starting teacher salaries are $10,000 to $15,000 lower than Ontario or Alberta says B.C. Teachers’ Federation president.

Few political staffers on Parliament Hill report sexual misconduct: survey

Sixty-five of the 266 survey respondents said they had personally experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment.

Experimental pot lab sprouting cannabis-infused drinks, new edibles

Nestled inside Canopy Growth Corp.’s sprawling marijuana facility outside Ottawa is a special laboratory

Federal committee to examine human trafficking in Canada

The Commons committee plans on holding hearings in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Most Read