Bovine TB case ongoing

An outbreak of bovine tuberculosis, believed to be traced back to a Cherryville area farm, has forced quarantines across B.C. and Alberta.

  • Oct. 2, 2011 7:00 a.m.

An outbreak of bovine tuberculosis, believed to be traced back to a Cherryville area farm, has forced quarantines across B.C. and Alberta.

The case was confirmed back in May, at which time testing was being done on a farm near Cherryville.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency initially quarantined 29 farms in B.C. and 20 have since been removed. There are also 11 farms, mostly feedlots, quarantined in Alberta. Quarantines are put in place when there has been some sort of contact with the farm of origin.

The CFIA will not release the number of cattle affected, or their location, due to privacy concerns.

“In most cases they are small numbers on each of these farms,” said Dr. Robert Cooper, Veterinary Program Specialist, Western Area Animal Health, CFIA.

All of the cattle from the farm of origin have been slaughtered and the investigation is ongoing as examinations continue and a source of contamination is sought.

“We’re certainly making good progress,” said Cooper, who could not say when the investigation might be wrapping up.

The situation has had ranchers throughout the province on edge, but many are sighing relief as tests come back negative.

“My information is that there has been no detection of any other cases outside of the original index herd ( I know that this herd was removed as is standard procedure) which is good news,” said Kevin Boon, general manager of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association.

“CFIA has been very good to work with on this case and have done everything possible to accommodate the ranchers but their main focus has always been in identifying and testing any possible animals which have any possibility of contracting the disease.”