Canada links 12th case of mad cow to infected feed

Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:50pm EDT


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OTTAWA (Reuters) - An official probe into Canada's 12th case of mad cow disease since 2003 said on Thursday that infected feed was most likely to blame -- the same reason given in many previous cases.

The animal, a six-year-old dairy cow from Alberta, was identified in February 2008. Since then an additional case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has been discovered in Canada.

"It is reasonable to presume that this animal was exposed to feed containing a low level of infectivity during its first year of life," the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said in a statement.

The CFIA brought in strict feed rules last year which it said should help eliminate the disease nationally within a decade. It says that until then, a handful of new cases are likely to appear.

Canada has been deemed a "controlled risk" country for mad cow disease by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) because of its surveillance and control measures.

"The detection of this case does not change any of Canada's BSE risk parameters. The location and age of the animal are consistent with previous cases, and the BSE surveillance results to date, including this new case, reflect an extremely low level of BSE in Canada," the CFIA said.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Galloway)


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