The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says the Alberta cow that tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, was born two years after the country instituted tougher bans on animal feed to prevent the disease.
CFIA confirmed the presence of BSE in one cow in Alberta, Canada on Feb. 11. Officials say cases of BSE are rare in Canada as this is the first positive case in four years.
After an investigation, CFIA determined the cow was born in March 2009 at a farm in northern Alberta near Edmonton. The farm has been placed under quarantine.
Canadian officials say the farm is cooperating with the investigation and the agency is focusing its efforts on reviewing farm animal and feed records to assess if other animals are at risk.
Paul Mayers, vice-president of policy and programs at CFIA, said the agency does not expect its trading partners to make any changes regarding access to Canadian beef.
“The government of Canada is committed to protecting human and animal health and takes the management of BSE very seriously,” Mayers said. “The case has been reported to the World Organization for Animal Health, also known as the OIE, in line with Canada's international obligations and our commitment to transparency.”