Canada remains a controlled BSE risk country
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) classifies the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) risk status of the cattle population of a country on the basis of a risk assessment and other criteria. The cattle population of a country can be classified into three categories:
- negligible BSE risk
- controlled BSE risk
- or undetermined BSE risk
In 2007, Canada was recognized by the OIE as a controlled BSE risk country. Canada was unable to obtain a negligible BSE risk status at that time mainly because of occurrence of cases of classical BSE in the domestic cattle population born less than 11 years ago.
To date, all domestic cases of classical BSE have been born more than 11 years ago (the youngest domestic case of classical BSE was born on 25 March 2009Footnote *), and Canada can now be recognized with a negligible BSE risk status.
The requirements for negligible BSE risk status
According to the provisions of the OIE, a country meets the requirements for a negligible BSE risk status if it complies with the following:
- a risk assessment identifies all potential risk factors for BSE to occur, and measures are in place to properly control and reduce those factors,
- a prohibition to feed ruminants with ruminants is appropriately implemented and monitored,
- BSE awareness, education and reporting programs have been continuously implemented,
- there is diagnostic competency within the laboratory system,
- BSE surveillance has been conducted in accordance with the OIE guidelines,
- any cases of classical BSE were born 11 years ago or more, and all BSE cases have been properly dealt with.
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