Restrictions relaxed on cattle herds

CANADA - Dairy cows in eastern Ontario and western Quebec which may have consumed "non-compliant" feed may now be moved to slaughter for the domestic market only, but restrictions on their sale or export remain in place.
calendar icon 4 December 2006
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The slight loosening of restrictions imposed Nov. 18 on 100 dairy farms where the feed may have been consumed was announced on the website of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) late Thursday.

Dr. Darcy Undseth, senior veterinarian with the CFIA, told The Recorder and Times that a risk assessment completed this week determined the potentially contaminated feed poses a negligible risk to animal health.

"A negligible risk is as low as you can go because you can't say a zero-risk," said Undseth.

He said the assessment concluded the probability was extremely remote that BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) was present in the 300 tonnes of suspect feed which has since been recovered and destroyed.

Moreover, it is highly unlikely that exposed animals could develop the disease in the coming years.

Undseth said the feed came into contact with a small amount of bone meal powder and there is no indication the powder was infected with BSE in the first place.

He said there is also no food safety concern associated with the exposed animals.

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