What to expect if your animals are infected with bovine tuberculosis

If bovine tuberculosis is confirmed

If bovine TB is confirmed, the CFIA takes immediate disease eradication measures that include:

  • Strict quarantine and animal movement controls to prevent disease spread;
  • Humane destruction of all infected and susceptible exposed animals;
  • Strict cleaning and disinfection of the infected premises;
  • Comprehensive investigation and testing of all at-risk livestock herds which are epidemiologically associated with the infected premises;
  • Livestock and wildlife testing in a surveillance zone around the infected premises; and
  • Testing of any livestock herds that are re-stocked onto a premises where bovine TB was previously confirmed.

Using records and other information provided, CFIA staff will trace the movements of all susceptible livestock that may have been exposed to infected animal(s). This includes locating animals that have recently moved off the farm, and examining movement records of the infected animal(s). These activities help determine if there are other properties that need to be investigated.

Your cooperation and that of any other parties involved is critical to the success of the investigation in establishing the source, and possible spread, of the disease.

Destruction and disposal

When the CFIA district veterinarian determines which susceptible animals on a farm must be destroyed, he or she issues an "order for destruction". It outlines what is to be destroyed, as well as the method of destruction and what will be provided to you in compensation. In addition, all animal products, manure, feed, materials and equipment that are deemed to be contaminated and not suitable for cleaning and disinfection will be ordered destroyed.

Common disposal methods include slaughter at an abattoir, burialFootnote 1 on the farm or at another site, controlled rendering or incineration. The costs of destruction, disposal and transportation of animals and things ordered destroyed may be covered by the CFIA.

Cleaning and disinfection

Once all destruction and disposal activities have been completed, the premises must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, in accordance with international standards. This process includes cleaning and disinfecting all hard surfaces, structures, tools, equipment and vehicles. Areas on the premises where infected animals were present, including pastures, will be left empty for a period of time to ensure elimination of the bacterium before restocking.

The CFIA district veterinarian will assist you in developing an effective cleaning and disinfection plan. Cleaning and disinfection costs are your responsibility.

Compensation

Under the Health of Animals Act, the CFIA may compensate owners for animals and things ordered destroyed during disease response situations. Compensation awards are based on market value, up to the maximum amounts established by the regulations less any carcass value pain by an abattoir.

For more details on the compensation process, please see Animal Health Compensation: What to expect when an animal is ordered destroyed.

Removal of quarantine

Once cleaning and decontaminating are complete, the CFIA assesses the farm to determine when the quarantine may be removed from the premises. Normally, this occurs 45 days after the cleaning and disinfection final inspection and approval.

Following removal of the quarantine, you may introduce new animals to the farm in accordance with regular CFIA and provincial permit requirements. To ensure the effectiveness of the decontamination of the infected premises, two follow-up annual herd tests are required.

Confidentiality

As directed by the Privacy Act and other federal statues, the CFIA is required to protect private information collected. Any information provided by you during a disease response situation is treated as confidential, unless otherwise indicated.

More information about bovine tuberculosis

For more information on Canada's approach to controlling and eradicating bovine TB, call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735.

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