Canada's BSE risk status will potentially be lowered

Canada's application for negligible risk status for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) passes a key milestone.
calendar icon 15 March 2021
clock icon 2 minute read

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced that Canada is an important step closer to being recognized by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as a negligible-risk country for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

The Scientific Commission of the OIE has recommended to OIE delegates that Canada's application to change its status from a controlled-risk country for BSE to one of negligible risk fulfills the necessary requirements.

This recommendation has been sent to OIE Delegates who will officially vote on Canada's application at the next World Assembly of OIE Delegates General Session at the end of May 2021.

“Today, beef producers can be pleased that Canada has taken an important step to being recognized as negligible risk for BSE. Although we still need to await the final vote, I am optimistic that this will soon allow them to expand their markets for cattle and beef exports to the U.S. and other foreign markets. Our government will continue to stand up for our hard-working beef producers who provide top-quality products,” Minister Bibeau commented. 

A change from controlled to negligible BSE-risk status would help secure and negotiate access for Canadian cattle and beef products to trade markets that require products to originate from negligible BSE-risk status countries.

The Government of Canada worked closely with provinces and industry to put forward a strong application based on data. The diligence of Canada's approach is reflected in this recommendation to proceed to a vote at the OIE General Session.

Canada awaits the World Assembly of OIE Delegate's final decision, to be announced in May 2021.


  • Since 2007, Canada has been recognized by the OIE as a controlled BSE-risk country.
  • One of the OIE criteria for Canada to be categorized as a negligible BSE-risk country is to demonstrate that infected domestic animals were born more than 11 years prior.
  • The last case of BSE in Canada was in 2015 in a cow born in 2009.
  • The CFIA continues to lead on other initiatives to improve animal health, veterinary public health and animal welfare in Canada.
  • The OIE also evaluated Canada's veterinary services and recognized Canada as a top-performing country for its veterinary services and a leading example in meeting international standards.
© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.