Recent bovine TB strain new to Canada

Animal Health: News Roundup from the February 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The latest outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in Canadian cattle involves a TB strain that hasn’t been seen before in Canadian livestock or wildlife, the Canadian Cattlemen website reports.

During a briefing in early January, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said culture testing of bacteria taken from a TB-positive cow in early November showed it’s “not related to past cases of bovine TB in Alberta or British Columbia or anywhere else in Canada.” Nor does it match any other isolates found in Canada, Dr. Jaspinder Komal, federal chief veterinary officer with the CFIA, told reporters.

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Preliminary testing has also failed to find a link to any TB strains found in the U.S., Komal said.

The latest TB investigation began when an infected cow arrived at a federally registered slaughter facility in late October. The carcass had lesions in the lymph nodes, lungs and liver, and was condemned. Lab testing confirmed bovine TB on November 9.

As of January 7, there were 25 herds under movement control in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, the CFIA website stated. At that time, the CFIA had found four infected animals, all from one herd in British Columbia. No part of those cattle ever entered the food chain, the CFIA said.

For the latest on the bovine TB situation, visit the CFIA website.

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