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Government Investing In New bTB Screening Tests

28 September 2011

CANADA - The Government of Canada is working with industry to identify a new diagnostic test for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle that will be simpler and more cost-effective for regulatory agencies to administer.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced an investment of nearly $320,000 to the Canadian Cattlemen's Association at the CCA's annual fall picnic on Parliament Hill.

"We continue to invest in finding new and cost-effective screening tests to detect animal diseases," Minister Ritz told the annual gathering of beef producers from across the country.

"The faster we can pinpoint disease, the shorter the downtime for our hardworking cattle producers and the sooner they can get their businesses back up and running."

This investment through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) is designed to help the CCA evaluate alternative bovine TB tests that will be more reliable and cost-effective than the current tuberculin skin test.

The CCA will work with regulatory agencies such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to design and provide input to the evaluation study. If successful, the study will identify one or a combination of tests that will be less cumbersome and less expensive for regulatory agencies to administer.

"Having a rapid, simple and inexpensive blood test that can detect bovine TB in cattle will help to achieve the final eradication of this insidious disease sooner than is possible with existing tools," said CCA President Travis Toews.

"We thank the Government of Canada for investing in research that will assist industry efforts to create an effective disease eradication program and lessen the often negative economic impacts associated with bovine TB."

The CCA is a national organisation established in 1932 that represents the interests of approximately 83,000 beef producers in every phase of the beef production system.

CAAP is a five-year (2009-2014), $163-million initiative that aims to help the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. The next phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan, coupled with other Government of Canada programmes and initiatives such as CAAP, continues to help farmers by focusing on creating jobs and strengthening the economy.

Investments in new and emerging market opportunities will help build an even stronger agriculture industry and Canadian economy for the future.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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