Bovine TB investigation continues in Alberta

The investigation into bovine tuberculosis continues in southeastern Alberta.

Cows from quarantined herds that did not react to TB tests are being processed at Cargill Foods in High River, Alta., and JBS Meats in Brooks, Alta. The beef is safe for human consumption.

Animals that tested positive and calves are being handled at a federal plant in Lacombe, Alta., and those carcasses are rendered, said Karin Schmid, production specialist with Alberta Beef Producers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported as of Jan. 4 there have been no new confirmed cases but traceouts and trace-ins continue. About 50 premises and 26,000 animals are affected.

The traceouts look for animals that left the original infected herd while the trace-ins identify animals were introduced to the herd.

“These are cattle that came into the original infected premises in the last five years so we are looking at a significant period of time when cattle are bought and sold,” Schmid said.

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The investigation has been larger than normal because of the large herds in the region and the extent of mixing that occurred among cattle in community pastures.

In addition, the CFIA plans to work with the infected herd to develop disinfection plans before restocking can occur.

During hunting season, about 900 elk were removed from CFB Suffield base and none tested positive for tuberculosis.

“So far nothing suspicious has been reported,” she said.

Contact barbara.duckworth@producer.com

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