Bovine Tuberculosis (Bovine TB) investigation – Western Canada

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Latest situation (2017-12-15)

Testing of trace-in herds (herds that sent animals to the infected herd in the past five years) has started with the majority of the on–farm testing expected to be completed by December 31, 2017. Trace-in herds are tested to determine if they were the source of infection but it is possible that the source will not be found. A total of approximately 15,000 animals will be tested.

Summary: Trace-in testing activities
Province Number of premises that will be tested Number of premises tested and released
Alberta 33 25
Manitoba 3 3
Saskatchewan 35 23
Total 71 51

The one infected premises which had six animals infected with the same strain of bovine TB has been released from quarantine. Four premises that housed co-mingled herds are under quarantine (with no cattle) and will be released once cleaning and disinfection is completed.

One trace-out herd (a herd that received animals from the infected herd in the past five years) is under quarantine.

To date, approximately 11,500 animals associated with the infected, co-mingled, trace-out and trace-in herds have been destroyed with compensation paid to the owners and approximately 26,000 animals have been released from quarantine.

Background

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is continuing to make progress in its bovine TB investigation in response to the detection of the disease in an Alberta cow in September 2016.

The priority area for the CFIA investigation is domestic livestock. The Agency is working with the provincial governments to ensure that any risks associated with TB in wildlife are included in the investigation. There will be active surveillance of elk in southeast Alberta (WMU 732)

Genetic analysis showed that the bovine TB organism from the infected cows is not the same as any strains detected in Canadian domestic animals or wildlife or humans to date. All six currently confirmed positive cows have the same strain of TB. This strain of TB identified in these confirmed positive cows is closely related to a strain first found in cattle in Central Mexico in 1997.

Information for Producers

Movement of cattle and other animals

Only premises that have been placed under quarantine by the CFIA are prevented from moving animals without permission. Producers in the general investigation area that have not been contacted by the CFIA are allowed to move animals (including sending cattle to auction markets and feed lots) but must comply with livestock identification requirements.

Quarantine and testing

Premises that are under quarantine must not move any animals without permission from the CFIA.

As the disease investigation proceeds, additional premises may need to be quarantined while cattle are tested for bovine TB.

Additional information and guidance from CFIA staff will be provided to individual producers if their animals are required to be quarantined. While testing is completed as quickly as possible, quarantines remain in effect until all susceptible animals have tested negative for the disease.

If an animal under quarantine tests positive for bovine TB, the CFIA will follow established procedures for destruction and compensation.

Compensation

Under the Health of Animals Act, the CFIA may compensate producers for:

  • animals ordered destroyed;
  • other things ordered destroyed, such as contaminated feed or animal products; and
  • the disposal costs of animals ordered destroyed.

For information on how compensation is determined and how the process works visit:

Additional information

Contact us

General questions about bovine TB or the current investigation will be managed by email.

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