The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a cow in the Province of British Columbia. This case poses no risk to human or animal health since Canada's stringent BSE safeguards prevented any part of the animal's carcass from entering the human food chain or any potentially infective parts of the animal's carcass from entering the animal feed chain, according to the agency.
The animal was detected through Canada's national BSE surveillance program. The CFIA has launched a comprehensive investigation in an effort to determine the birth farm of the animal.
Canada's enhanced feed ban, introduced last summer, virtually eliminates the potential spread of BSE through the animal feed chain and places Canada on an accelerated path to eliminate BSE. As the level of BSE continues to decline, the periodic detection of a small number of cases is fully expected in line with the experience of other countries. Concurrently, Canada's food safety system maintains the highest levels of human health protection.
The national surveillance program, which targets the highest risk animals, has tested more than 220,000 cattle since 2003. The program continues to benefit from very strong producer participation.
The detection of this animal does not affect Canada's status as a BSE controlled risk country as recognized by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
As has been done with previous cases, the CFIA will update information as it becomes available through the ongoing investigation.