Bovine TB strain tested in B.C. cow is distinct, not seen in Canada

A case of bovine tuberculosis was found in a cow in southern British Columbia last November

Canada’s chief veterinary officer says test results from a case of bovine tuberculosis found in a cow in British Columbia last November show a strain not seen before in Canada or the United States.

Jaspinder Komal says this TB isn’t connected to any cases previously detected in wild animals or domestic livestock.

READ MORE: Bovine TB back on radar after slaughtered B.C. cow tests positive

Komal says most of the animals on a farm in B.C.’s southern Interior where a cow was first identified with bovine tuberculosis have been tested.

He says four confirmed cases of the disease have been found in the herd, including the cow first confirmed to have the disease when it was slaughtered last October.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the animals did not enter the food chain and there was no risk to human health.

The agency has traced the movements of animals that entered or left the infected herd in the past five years and movement controls have been placed on about 18,000 animals in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan.

As the investigation continues, movement controls on the herds will fluctuate, Komal said.

Canada is considered officially free of bovine TB although the statement says isolated cases may occur.

Exposure can only occur through the passage of fluids from an animal to an open skin sore, extended close contact with an animal with active respiratory tuberculosis or by drinking unpasteurized milk from an infected animal.

Six cases of bovine TB were identified in cattle from a single Alberta farm in 2016, leading to tests of 34,000 animals from 145 farms.

Those tests showed the disease did not spread from the original farm and international shipments of Canadian beef were never interrupted.

The Canadian Press

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