New communications protocol for BSE

CANADA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is implementing a revised protocol for the ongoing reporting of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Canada as BSE is eradicated from the national cattle herd.
calendar icon 29 September 2006
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All new BSE detections will be reported through the CFIA’s website. Reporting will occur once the CFIA’s world reference laboratory for BSE-the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease-has fully confirmed a diagnosis. The CFIA will continue conducting thorough epidemiological investigations of all BSE cases. Final reports from these investigations will also be posted online.

This approach is consistent with those of most other BSE-affected countries and the CFIA’s reporting protocol for animal diseases of public interest. Should new information arise that changes the current understanding of BSE in Canada, the CFIA would undertake a more active communications approach that could include news releases or technical briefings.

Canada’s highly targeted national surveillance program continues to test cattle most at risk of having BSE. Over time, the CFIA expects the program to detect a limited number of additional cases. Given the safeguards that Canada has implemented, subsequent cases consistent with those previously observed will not change Canada’s BSE risk level.

Public health remains protected through the removal of potentially infectious tissues, known as specified risk material (SRM), from all cattle slaughtered for human consumption. In the context of animal health, the effective enforcement of Canada’s feed ban continues to prohibit the use of SRM and other animal tissues in cattle feed. The recently announced removal of SRM from all animal feeds further protects animal health by addressing any contamination that could occur as feed is manufactured, transported or stored.

In line with its commitment to openness and transparency, the CFIA will continue to provide complete and timely information regarding BSE detections and response actions. Interested parties can register online at www.inspection.gc.ca to receive notifications when new information is reported.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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