Bovine TB Makes Way to Manitoba

MANITOBA, US - Bovine Tuberculosis has been detected ina 5-year-old beef cow 10km from a portion of the Riding Mountain Eradication Area in Monitoba. The area, located in the Riding Mountain National Park, is considered to be at highest risk for bovine TB.
calendar icon 12 May 2008
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The herd was tested in March 2008 under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) enhanced surveillance program and the test result for this cow was considered to be suspicious. The animal was ordered destroyed and tissue samples were submitted to the CFIA laboratory in Ottawa for further testing. Bovine TB was confirmed on May 1. No part of the infected cow entered the human or animal food chain.

There is no public health risk associated with this case. This finding does not affect Manitoba’s status as bovine TB-free under the Health of Animals Regulations. As well, Canada’s status for international trade of animals and animal products is not affected by this finding.

The CFIA is working closely with the operator of the infected farm in conducting the investigation into this case. All susceptible animals determined to have been exposed to bovine TB will be ordered destroyed and compensation will be paid to the owner.

While Canada’s livestock herds are considered to be free from bovine TB, cases such as this one occur from time-to-time. Whenever an infected herd is found, the CFIA institutes measures to contain and eradicate the outbreak. The policy of requiring the immediate, humane destruction of all infected animals and any exposed susceptible animals is the only proven way to eliminate the disease.

Under the enhanced surveillance program, livestock herds located in the RMEA undergo periodic testing for bovine TB. The infected cow was in a herd of 240 cattle, which was among the approximately 200 herds scheduled for testing during the fall/winter/spring of 2007/2008. The last finding of bovine TB in Manitoba occurred in March 2004.

Findings of bovine TB in Canada do not pose a threat to the health of the general public, which is safeguarded through Canada’s food safety system. While bovine TB primarily affects ruminant animals (cattle, bison, elk, deer, goats and sheep), it can affect all types of mammals, including humans. Infection in humans results from prolonged, close contact with an infected animal or the consumption of unpasteurized milk from an infected cow. If persons who were exposed to the diseased cow are identified, the appropriate public health follow-up will be initiated.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Bovine Tuberculosis by clicking here.

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