Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Canada Finds BSE in Alberta Dairy Cow

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease, was detected  last month in a dairy cow from Alberta, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) acknowledged Friday.

The agency said no part of the slaughtered cow was used for human or animal food and the case should not affect exports of Canadian cattle or beef. “Detection of a small number of additional BSE cases is fully expected” as Canada continues to progress in eradicating the disease, the agency said in an emailed statement to the online industry publication meatingplace.

Canada is considered a “controlled BSE risk” country, under World Organization for Animal Health rules, following the discovery of a cow with the disease in 2003. Since then, some 313,000 cattle have been tested under a national BSE surveillance program, and 18 cases of the disease have been confirmed. This latest was the first in more than a year.

Numerous markets closed to Canadian beef immediately after 2003. Most countries have since resumed accepting it.

CFIA, citing privacy concerns, did not release details about the farm where the infected cow was found, saying only that the animal was 6 1/2 years old (77 months) and the BSE was confirmed on Feb. 18.  The agency said the case will be posted on the CFIA website on March 10 and reported to the World Organization for Animal Health.


R-CALF USA, which represents some U.S. cattle producers, used confirmation of the new BSE case to renew its call for a change in the over-30-month (OTM) rule that allows the U.S. to import cattle from Canada, so long as they were born after March 1, 1999.

In a news release, the group said, “At just over six years of age, this cow would have been born in 2004 and infected with BSE either in 2004 or 2005, which provides absolute evidence that the BSE agent was circulating in Canada’s feed system long after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared that Canada had its BSE problem under control.”

In a story in the Globe and Mail, Alberta’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Gerald Hauer, downplayed the significance of the finding saying, “Our system is working. This sample came through our BSE surveillance program. It is certainly not unexpected to find new cases. It shouldn’t affect our controlled risk status. It’s really not a major concern.”

© Food Safety News
  • However, mad cow disease (BSE) can be a naturally occurring disease, so not an infectious disease, so beef is safe in the all world. WHY?
    The BSE was tested in dairy cows, see “nutritonal experiment” performed in England; published in Veterinary Record (MOORBY et al., 2000) and in Journal of Dairy Science (MOORBY et al., 2000; DEWHURST et al., 2000).
    This experiment was conducted using diets and other conditions typical of northwestern Europe, under well defined conditions of husbandry and nutrition. The effect of altering the amount of protein and energy over the final 6 wk of the dry-period diet and during the first 21 wk of the subsequent lactation was investigated, in 47 dairy cows. Perennial ryegrass silage was used ad libitum; final 6 wk of the dry-period diet and during lactation plus a concentrate with high crude protein (CP) level (22.5%) was fed. Blood samples were taken each week before calving, and during weeks1,3,5,7,13,17, and 21 of lactation.
    During lactation daily total dry matter (DM) intake was ca 17.4 kg; the content of CP (N x 6.25) was ca 20% during first 12 weeks, and ca 17.5% of CP in the diet DM, to the 22 wk of the lactation period. So, very high CP concentration in the diet was used. No clinical metabolic disorders were recorded. However, after the collection of the last blood sample (21 wk of lactation), six of the 47 animals (so; 13 percent!) developed clinical signs of BSE (later histopatologicaly confirmed). Although when they were sampled it was not known that they were incubating the BSE.
    My conclusions: long-term dietary crude protein (CP) surpluss, significantly higher than the norm (NRC, 2001; if about daily 30 kg of milk production was recorded; only 15% of CP in DM was needed) during 21 wk of lactation period and mostly in cows during 6 wk of dry period. So, there hyperammonemia plus hypomagnesemia action on the animal tissues (CNS and liver, especially) can be found. If the BSE is involved; a long-chronic action is necessary to rise irreversible neurodegenerative changes.
    In Canada in recent years, isolated cases of BSE still are found. This last case was detected in a cow aged six years, so still in age of higher milk production. My recommendation? Examine in detail the level of nutrition of this cow in the last year and the result of a study to compare with the British experiment. I have no doubt that will be conclusion, that BSE positive cow received a high concentration of protein with lower utilization of magnesium, in the feed ration So even in Canada is not an infectious BSE disease and the effect of meat and bone meal can be excluded.
    See also other relationships (why great progress about BSE eradicating within the… EU?), according to my web http://www.bse-expert.cz and recent presentation at 29th World Veterinary Congress in Vancouver; Neurodegenerative Diseases and Schizophrenia as a Hyper or Hypofunction of the NMDA Receptors (www.bse-expert.cz/pdf/Veter_kongres.pdf).
    In addition about the BSE/ vCJD diseases; this was never justified scientifically! It was pure, math-model-driven science fiction. See more about ; BSE/ vCJD mathematical- models, see my large three comments in Telegraph.co.uk
    (www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7168326/Does-vCJD-still-pose-a-major-public-health-threat.html). But it was pushed very vigorously by the British science establishment, which has never confessed to its errors… WHY? Because, in 1996, a variant form of CJD (vCJD) was discovered in small clusters in Britain. It was immediately suspected that the outbreak of BSE could be connected to the clusters of vCJD in humans. People were cautioned not to eat beef that may come from diseased cattle, for fear the disease could be transmitted to humans via the meat products they consumed…
    However, less well-known circumstances can be show (as a detective story); in documenting the first case of disease transmission, by blood transfusion. For more informations see my large comments in The Western Star (www.thewesternstar.com/News/Canada%20-%20World/Business/1969-12-31/article-2095060/Womans-death-in-northern-Italy-is-nations-2nd-fatal-case-of-mad-cow-disease/1 ).

  • >>>However, mad cow disease (BSE) can be a naturally occurring disease, so not an infectious disease, so beef is safe in the all world.>>>
    this is total BSe !
    science has never proven a natural field case of spontaneous TSE in any species……EVER ! it’s a myth. however, many times, science has proven oral transmission of TSE in different species. these atypical, along with typical TSE have all been circulating in the feeds for decades. a TSE was discovered in the USA bovine, and documented as way back as 1985 i.e. Marsh et al. stop kidding yourselves $$$
    Thursday, February 10, 2011
    TRANSMISSIBLE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY REPORT UPDATE CANADA FEBRUARY 2011 and how to hide mad cow disease in Canada Current as of: 2011-01-31
    Friday, February 18, 2011
    Wednesday, December 22, 2010
    Manitoba veterinarian has been fined $10,000 for falsifying certification documents for U.S. bound cattle and what about mad cow disease ?
    i wonder if CFIA Canada uses the same OBEX ONLY diagnostic criteria as the USDA ?
    Tuesday, November 02, 2010
    BSE – ATYPICAL LESION DISTRIBUTION (RBSE 92-21367) statutory (obex only) diagnostic criteria CVL 1992
    Saturday, March 5, 2011
    Saturday, December 18, 2010
    OIE Global Conference on Wildlife Animal Health and Biodiversity – Preparing for the Future (TSE AND PRIONS) Paris (France), 23-25 February 2011