Statement from Canada’s Chief Veterinary Officer: Bovine Tuberculosis (Bovine TB) investigation
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is currently involved in a bovine tuberculosis investigation in southeast Alberta, and would like to provide an update on the Agency’s efforts to date.
Bovine tuberculosis, or as it’s often called bovine TB, is a reportable disease in Canada and has been subject to a mandatory national eradication program since 1923. While Canada is considered to be officially free of bovine TB today, isolated cases may occur.
In late September, the CFIA was notified by the United States Department of Agriculture that bovine TB had been detected in an Alberta cow that was slaughtered at a facility in the USA. This finding does not affect Canada’s current status, with all provinces considered to be bovine TB-free.
During a bovine TB investigation, quarantines and movement restrictions are placed on any implicated farms. Testing, humane destruction, and disposal are carried out as required.
As this investigation involves a significant number of herds and requires the tracing of the movement of animals for the past five years plus testing, it is not expected to be completed for several months.
As the disease investigation proceeds, additional premises may need to be quarantined while cattle are tested for bovine TB.
We recognize that the quarantines and movement controls are having a significant impact on producers, especially those that planned on fall sales of their animals.
The CFIA is bringing in additional staff to Alberta from other regions to help with on-farm testing and Agency labs are prepared for the increased number of samples.
The CFIA will pay compensation to producers as quickly as possible for any animals ordered destroyed. Producers may be eligible for assistance for expenses not covered by the CFIA’s compensation authority from other programs involving Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Alberta Agriculture and Forests.
The CFIA will be providing regular updates on key developments in the investigation on our web site. Please visit inspection.gc.ca/tb for the latest information.
The CFIA appreciates the cooperation it is currently receiving from producers, their industry associations and the Province of Alberta in the ongoing investigation.
–Canadian Food Inspection Agency