Monday, December 19, 2016

Source of TB outbreak not known

Officials handling the tuberculosis situation in Alberta say they still don’t know the origin of the strain that was found in a cow slaughtered in the United States.

It’s never been seen in Canada before, but is in Mexico and Southern United States.

The ranch that sent that cow to the U.S. packing plant has watched as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has placed a strict quarantine on its 18 premises and is systematically slaughtering thousands of cattle.

Trace-outs from that herd have resulted in quarantines at a total of 50 premises with 26,000 cattle, but five have since been released after their cattle were tested.

Five animals in the originating Alberta herd have tested positive for TB, but they might be false positives because officials found no symptoms or TB when those cattle were slaughtered.

The Alberta government has now declared the bovine tuberculosis outbreak a disaster so emergency relief funds could be freed up for farmers.

The federal and provincial governments are providing nearly $17 million in funding to help the situation. Alberta’s share is about 40 percent.

So what are the chances that the cow slaughtered in the U.S. plant was never in Canada? Maybe it was mixed up with one from Mexico or the Southern U.S.

It would be one horrendously expensive mistake if that's the case. The $17 million compensation is only part of the cost. How much do you think it has eaten up in CFIA salaries and related expenses?