Fara í efni

Kúariða greinist í Kanada

Athugið að þessi frétt er ársgömul eða eldri.

Yfirvöld í Kanada hafa staðfest 2. kúariðutilfellið frá upphafi í 8 ára gamalli mjólkurkú frá Albertafylki.

Að þessu sinni fannst kúariða í gegnum skimunarkerfi stjórnvalda, en Kanadamenn tóku 22.000 sýni á liðnu ári.

Enginn innflutningur er á nautgripaafurðum frá Kanada til Íslands. Sjá nánari upplýsingar frá kanadískum yfirvöldum.

Fréttatilkynning frá Kanadísku matvælastofnuninni (pdf) 



Current information about the animal

How was the animal detected?

The animal was detected through the national BSE surveillance program, implemented in co-operation with the provinces and the animal health community. Testing was conducted after the animal was identified as a downer, one of the high-risk categories targeted by the surveillance program

When was the animal tested?

Samples from the animal were taken on December 17 and received by the Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development lab on December 23. Rapid test results were obtained at the lab on December 27 and 28. Samples were then sent to the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health in Winnipeg, where further rapid tests were conducted on December 29. Confirmatory testing was initiated on December 30 and results were received on January 2nd confirming that the animal is positive for BSE.

Where was the animal detected?

The animal was initially identified on a farm in Alberta. For privacy reasons the CFIA cannot provide more specific details.

Has the CFIA definitively confirmed the age of the animal?

Yes, the animal was 8 years old.

Initially, the CFIA reported that the animal was 10 years old. Now the animal is being reported as being 8 years old. Why has this information changed?

The animal was 8 years old at the time of its death. In a disease investigation, early information is always considered preliminary pending clarification and confirmation. In this case, the limited information available at the time this situation was announced suggested that the animal was 10 years old. Information subsequently collected has provided more precise details about the animal.

Was the animal a beef or a dairy breed?

The animal was a dairy cow.

What has been done with the animal?

The carcass is being sent to a federal CFIA laboratory for research purposes. No part of the animal entered the human food or animal feed systems.

Is there any link between this case and the two cases confirmed in 2003?

Our investigation is ongoing. It is premature to draw any conclusions about possible linkages to previous cases.

Did the animal have proper identification?

Yes. The animal was tagged. This information, together with additional details collected by investigators, has identified the animal’s farm of origin.

Was the animal born before the feed ban? Why is this important?

The information collected to date indicates that the animal was 8 years old, and, therefore, would have been born before the Canadian feed ban was introduced in 1997.

This is important because both of the two North American BSE-infected animals detected in 2003 were also born before 1997. Therefore, consumption of contaminated feed before 1997 remains the most likely route of transmission for all North American cases. Information collected through investigations and risk analyses continues to indicate that the feed ban has successfully limited BSE spread since being implemented.

Next steps

Has the CFIA begun an investigation?

Yes. The CFIA has already identified the animal’s farm of origin, and work is well underway to trace any other animals of equivalent risk. Specifically, the CFIA is focusing on recently born offspring and cattle born on the farm of origin within a year of the infected animal. A quarantine has been placed on animals on the farm of origin. As the investigation continues, additional quarantines may be necessary.

The CFIA is also investigating feeding practices and purchases. Given the age of the animal, it may not be possible to definitively identify a particular feed source as the origin of infection. As was done during previous BSE investigations, the CFIA will keep Canadians informed of the latest information with regular updates. Information regarding the farm of origin and ownership of the animal cannot be released due to privacy laws.

How long will the investigation take?

It is difficult to predict with any certainty how long the investigation will take. It is important to note that this investigation includes both tracing the animal’s history and examining how and what the animal was fed early in its life. If we use our experience in 2003 as a guide, the first 20 days were critical in terms of our investigation. Given that we have better information in this case, we may be in a position to conclude the main part of our investigation in a shorter time period, barring any unforeseen difficulties.

Will the CFIA’s investigation involve the destruction of a large number of cattle as was done in 2003?

Not likely. Assuming proper animal identification information and records are available, the CFIA investigation is targeting common feed sources and other animals of equivalent risk. Specifically, the Agency is tracing two categories of animals: recently born offspring of the infected animal and cattle born on the same farm within a year of the infected animal.

Are any other provinces implicated by this case?

No. At this time there is no information to suggest that any other provinces will be involved

Is there any evidence to suggest that this was an imported animal?


What is being done with the animal?

The carcass is being sent to a federal laboratory for research purposes.

Food Safety

Does this case affect the safety of Canadian beef?

No. This case does not pose an increased risk to food safety. Canada’s BSE food safety protections are based on the assumption that a low level of BSE remains in North America. Specified risk materials are removed from all cattle slaughtered for human consumption.

All North American BSE cases have been linked to Canada. Does this mean that American beef products are safer?

No. Risk assessments and investigations have shown that BSE risk is equivalent on both sides of the border. Consequently, both Canada and the United States require the removal of specified risk materials from all animals slaughtered for human consumption. This is the most effective food safety measure that can be taken.

Can BSE be transmitted through milk or milk products?

No, there is no evidence that BSE can be transmitted through milk or milk products.

Testing specifics

Why did Canada announce an unconfirmed finding?

The Government of Canada’s normal policy is to report only confirmed results. However, given the unique situation created by the United States’ border announcement on December 29 it was decided that the most prudent action would be to publicly announce the available information and provide stakeholders with a full understanding of the current situation.

Will testing uncover additional cases?

Since BSE was detected in Canada in 2003, the CFIA has maintained that a low, declining level of BSE is likely present in North America. As testing continues to increase, it is possible that additional cases of BSE will be detected.

Through the enhanced surveillance program, Canada has tested over 22,000 samples in 2004. In 2005, a minimum of 30,000 tests are anticipated. This testing level will enable the program to detect BSE at a level as low as one-in-one-million animals. This testing level is roughly equivalent to that of the United States’ surveillance program.

Finding additional cases will not indicate an increased risk to food safety. The Government has approached public health protection assuming that BSE still lingers in Canada. Specified risk material is removed from all cattle slaughtered for human consumption. This measure is scientifically recognized as the most effective public health measure that can be taken.

Who is responsible for BSE testing under the national BSE surveillance program?

BSE testing is a shared responsibility of cattle producers, industry, the animal health community and federal and provincial governments.

What is the testing protocol for samples entering the surveillance program?

Samples are initially screened using a rapid test. This testing method is very sensitive but less specific, meaning that it can accurately detect a true BSE positive sample, but may also react when a sample is not infected with BSE. Rapid test results that are unable to rule out BSE are known as “inconclusives.”

Inconclusive samples are sent to the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health in Winnipeg for further analysis. Rapid tests are run again, and if inconclusive results are replicated, the status of the sample is elevated from inconclusive to suspect.

All suspect samples are tested using immunohistochemistry, the internationally recognized “gold standard” test for BSE. This definitive test usually takes about five days.

Has Canada previously detected inconclusive results? Why hasn’t the public been informed of this information?

Canada’s national surveillance program has yielded a small number of inconclusive results. All were eventually found to be negative. The Government of Canada’s normal policy for all animal diseases is to report only confirmed results.

How was the suspect case different from the previous inconclusives?

Because inconclusive test results were replicated in the Winnipeg lab, this case was considered a suspect, meaning that there was a higher probability of it being confirmed positive.

Now that the animal is confirmed positive, will samples be sent to Weybridge for further testing?

No. Samples were sent to Weybridge, the international BSE reference laboratory, following Canada’s first case because the disease had never before been confirmed in a Canadian laboratory. This was a precautionary measure to validate Canada’s findings.

Scientists at the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health in Winnipeg, Canada’s national BSE reference laboratory now have experience analysing BSE-infected tissues, and further confirmation by other laboratories, such as Weybridge, is not required.

Trade implications

Did the United States know about this case before issuing their rule announcement?

Yes. Prior to the U.S. announcement, CFIA officials notified their American counterparts that screening tests had yielded inconclusive results and that further testing was ongoing.

How will this case affect borders that have already re-opened?

This finding should not have a significant or lasting impact on our efforts to normalize trade. In negotiations with trading partners, Canada has been very open about the prospect of finding more BSE.

Canadian animal health officials have asked trading partners to base their decisions on the standards of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). These standards clearly state that BSE should not significantly impair trade where proper safeguards are in place, as is the case in Canada.

BSE in North America

Is BSE spreading in Canada?

Our investigations consistently indicate that a low, declining level of BSE is likely present in Canada. These investigations also suggest that Canada’s feed ban has successfully limited the spread of BSE.

This animal, similar to the two previous North American cases, was born before Canada and the United States introduced feed bans in 1997. It is probable that these cases are the result of a low level exposure to contaminated feed prior to 1997.

How did BSE enter North America?

Scientific investigations show that BSE initially entered North America in the 1980s, when a small number of cattle were imported from the United Kingdom into Canada and the United States. At that time, BSE had not emerged as a significant animal health threat.

In 1989, Canada banned further importation of cattle from the United Kingdom and traced all imported cattle to their Canadian farms of origin. Those animals that were found to be alive were placed under a monitoring program.

One of these cattle tested positive for BSE in 1993. Later that year, all remaining imported cattle were destroyed. However, some of these animals had already entered the North American animal feed system, prior to 1989, when Canada began implementing national BSE safeguards.

Although Canada implemented a feed ban in 1997, the rendering and feeding practices that existed before that time throughout North America would have permitted BSE, if present, to cycle through livestock feed and potentially infect other cattle. These potentially infected cattle, following normal animal movement patterns, could have been transported throughout Canada and the United States.

Because BSE can take as long as seven years to develop, it is possible that a small number of BSE-infected cattle are still present in North America today.

Birt á vef Yfirdýralæknis þann  11. janúar, 2005.

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