Canada Determines 13th BSE Case Linked to Feed,
Confirms New Case

A 61-month-old Holstein cow from a dairy operation in British Columbia, Canada, diagnosed in June 2008 with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) most likely contracted the disease from commercial feed, according to a report released by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in November. The animal was destroyed following a brief illness in early June, meeting the criteria of Canada’s National BSE Surveillance Program. No part of the carcass entered the human food or animal feed supply.

CFIA’s investigation of the case examined animals on the farm of the positive animal as well as feed products the cow was exposed to. The agency found that all feed products to which the animal had access were intended for feeding to ruminants, but that some of the farm’s feed suppliers used prohibited material in preparing rations for non-ruminant species. Investigation of the feed manufacturers’ records showed that while written procedures were in place to prevent cross-contamination, some areas of the production line and storage were cross-utilized without documented cleanout between usages, most likely leading to the ruminant feed being contaminated. CFIA has not reported any other animals from the positive cow’s farm to have been diagnosed with BSE.

Canada implemented a ruminant feed ban in 1997 that prohibits the use of certain animal products in the manufacture of ruminant feed. Further restrictions were put in place in 2007 that affects all animal feeds. The CFIA report stated the detection of this case does not change any of Canada’s BSE risk parameters. The World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE, categorizes Canada as a controlled risk country for BSE.

While CFIA continued investigating the country’s 14th BSE case in a six-year-old beef cow from Alberta announced in mid-August 2008, a new case was confirmed on November 17, 2008, in a seven-year-old dairy cow from British Columbia. No part of the animal’s carcass entered the human food or animal feed systems. The animal’s birth farm had been identified and an investigation is underway.

International Report – December 2008 RENDER | back