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Possible 6th BSE case in Canada

Preliminary screening tests conducted by the Province of Manitoba and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have detected a potential case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a mature cross-bred beef cow born well before the 1997 implementation of Canada’s feed ban.

No part of the animal's carcass entered the human food or animal feed systems. Samples have been sent to the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg for confirmatory testing.

Final results are expected next week. As with all previous cases, the animal was identified through Canada’s targeted surveillance program. In Manitoba, the CFIA and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives collaborate closely to collect and analyze samples for BSE testing.

The CFIA has begun a preliminary examination of the animal’s history. If confirmatory testing yields positive results, a full investigation, conducted in accordance with international standards, will be launched.

With the acknowledged very low, decreasing level of BSE present in North America, the ongoing detection of a limited number of cases is expected. Enhancements to Canada's feed ban, announced on June 26, 2006, will accelerate the eradication of the disease from the national cattle herd by preventing more than 99% of any potential BSE infectivity from entering the Canadian feed system. The enhancements-which ban specified risk material (SRM) from all animal feeds, pet foods and fertilizers-address potential contamination that could occur during feed production, transportation, storage and use. SRM are cattle tissues that have been shown in infected cattle to contain concentrated levels of the BSE agent.

The safety of beef and beef products remains protected through the removal of SRM from all cattle slaughtered for human consumption. This measure is internationally recognized as the most effective means to protect the safety of food from BSE.

Preliminary screening tests conducted by the Province of Manitoba and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have detected a potential case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a mature cross-bred beef cow born well before the 1997 implementation of Canada’s feed ban.

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