The disease outbreak resulted in the culling of more than 11,000 animals
By Diego Flammini
The investigation into the 2016 bovine tuberculosis (TB) outbreak that impacted Western Canada’s beef industry is one step closer to completion.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agnecy (CFIA) lifted All quarantines in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which includes about 30,000 animals, the agency announced on Monday.
Since a cow from an Alberta ranch tested positive for the disease in September 2016, more than 22,000 cattle in Alberta and Saskatchewan were under quarantine.
Officials ordered approximately 11,500 animals to be destroyed and producers have received about $39 million in compensation.
The CFIA will complete more testing before the investigation can officially close. But the agency’s ruling on the quarantines is a great piece of news, said Karin Schmid, beef production specialist with Alberta Beef Producers.
“We’re really pleased and it’s a big milestone in the investigation to have these quarantines lifted,” she told Farms.com today. “We still need to wait for the final cultures to be released in the spring but it’s a huge weight off producers’ shoulders. Everybody is really happy about it.”
This milestone in the investigation also allows the industry to reflect on the lessons learned from the bovine TB outbreak.
Communication between the cattle industry and CFIA are crucial, as are biosecurity practices. Developing a plan is also important, Schmid said.
Lawrence MacAulay, the federal agriculture minister, applauded the CFIA’s efforts during the investigation process.
“I am pleased that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has now removed all quarantines from farms with cattle in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and that no additional cases of bovine tuberculosis have been detected,” he said in a statement Monday. “The cooperation of individual producers and their industry associations played a key role in the progress of the investigation and this has allowed Canada to retain its bovine TB free status with no disruption to international markets.”