Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Canada once again free of TB

Canada’s cattle herd is once again free of tuberculosis, judging by the status of testing and quarantines in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Six animals were identified with a strain of the disease never before known to be in Canada after the alarm was sounded in September last year. That came after an Alberta cow sent to a packing plant in the United States tested positive.

The follow-up has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, has disrupted operations on scores of ranches in Alberta and Saskatchewan and is still not entirely over.

Two premises remain under quarantine. One had its cattle mingling with the one herd where the disease was found in six cattle. It only needs to complete cleaning and disinfection to qualify for release from quarantine.

The other is a farm or ranch that took in cattle from the place that was infected. That was a large operation spread over six premises; 11,500 cattle were slaughtered under the supervision of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Earlier this fall the CFIA began inspecting 71 premises that sold cattle to the one that turned up with the disease.

So far 52 of them have been cleared and the remainder are likely to be cleared as soon as test results become available.