The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has concluded that a cow that died of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in February likely was infected by contaminated feed.
The Black Angus cow in Alberta, labeled Case # 19, was a downer and the attending veterinarian sent a sample to test for BSE which was confirmed.
The cow was born in March 2009, 20 months after the CFIA imposed its “enhanced feed ban” that eliminated “specified risk materials” (SRMs) from the food chain.
The CFIA speculates that some left-over feed was responsible for infecting this cow. Another BSE case was identified at the same farm in 2004.
As part of its control measures, the CFIA tracked down 716 animals that might have been exposed to Case #19. They confirmed that 570 have been slaughtered or died and they have 110 under quarantine.
The CFIA report says “considering the stringent safeguards implemented from 2007 to ensure that SRMs are excluded from the entire terrestrial and aquatic animal feed chains as well as fertilizer, together with the rigorous inspection oversight by the CFIA the contamination of both prohibited and non-prohibited materials with SRM at either a slaughter establishment or a rendering facility, would in all likelihood, be highly improbable.
“As a result, the carry-over of a small amount of residual contaminated feed associated with the earlier case (#17) on the same birth farm is the most plausible explanation for BSE case #19.
“Trace-out of birth cohort animals is ongoing and expected to be completed for the end of 2015.
“Live cohorts traced are permanently identified, their movements controlled and upon death or destruction are disposed of in accordance with OIE (world animal health) requirements and the CFIA's BSE Manual of Procedures.”
The full report is posted on the CFIA website.