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Archived - Statement: Update on the Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Investigation – Alberta and Saskatchewan (2017-01-05)

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There have been no new confirmed cases of bovine tuberculosis related to this investigation.

To date, there have been six (6) confirmed cases of bovine TB, which includes the cow that had the disease when it was slaughtered in the United States.

The result of the epidemiological assessment has determined that these six (6) cases are from one (1) infected herd involving 18 farming operations located on multiple geographical premises.

Beyond these six (6) cases, no samples tested in CFIA laboratories showed lesions consistent with TB.

This is encouraging, but is not confirmation that the animal does not have bovine TB. Confirmation that an animal does not have TB can only be provided by confirmed negative results of a culture test.

As it stands, approximately 50 premises are currently under quarantine and movement controls. This affects about 26,000 animals.

During the investigation for bovine tuberculosis, the CFIA traces the movement of animals that have entered or left an infected herd.

As part of trace out activities, the CFIA traces animals that were moved out from the original infected herd to prevent the disease from spreading.

The CFIA is also doing trace-in activities to try to identify how the disease was introduced into the herd. This may lead to more quarantines, but this is not a sign that the disease is spreading; this is a normal procedure.

As mentioned, this investigation is complex and is therefore expected to take several months to complete.

For premises that have housed the infected herd, the CFIA Cleaning and Disinfection Unit will be conducting an assessment, developing decontamination plans and issuing owners of the premises an Order to Clean and Disinfect. This cleaning and disinfection process is outlined on the CFIA website.

We are continuing our work with producers and industry.

Since last month, the CFIA has established slaughter arrangements with a second processor in Alberta that is able to take in additional animals from the infected herd.

The CFIA continues to collect data in order to issue compensation payments, and compensation teams continue to meet with producers to ensure they have all the information required to expedite their claims.

As of January 4, with the help of Service Canada, we have established a toll free phone line to triage producer inquiries in the most efficient way possible. This number will be provided directly to those affected by the quarantine and movement controls.

Conference calls with industry associations resumed this week, and an industry liaison remains embedded in the Area Emergency Operations Centre in Western Canada.

Again, in all cases where bovine TB is suspected or confirmed, the goal is to minimize disruptions to producers, while respecting Canada's domestic and international obligations to take appropriate and prudent control measures.

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