There's now 25 herds under quarantine as part of the bovine tuberculosis investigation.

However, only the herd in British Columbia where the initial case was traced to has confirmed animals with the respiratory illness. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported there's three other animals in addition to the original case which have the respiratory illness in this herd.

Herds other than the index herd under movement control include 10 in British Columbia, 13 in Alberta and one in Saskatchewan.

General Manager of the B.C. Cattlemen's Association, Kevin Boon, says the investigation is a positive story about the traceability system in Canada.

"We saw quite a bit of confusion in Alberta in the TB testing, we've seen them in the past, and every time we do one of these investigations, and through those experiences, I think it gets better. The big thing is being able to try and narrow it down to get to where we're assessing the risk and what that risk is to our herd overall in Canada, so traceability has become extremely important."

He says because of B.C.'s range system and use of crown rangelands, there's more interaction between cattle in some areas.

Boon says the herds involved in the investigation cannot market their cattle, which takes it's toll on producers mentally and financially.

"They still aren't seeing that income or cash flow necessarily coming through, but the bills are still there and the cost is still there, so it does create a lot of hardship in that way. If they're under stop movement and the requirement for further testing, there's a lot of extra costs and extra hardship that comes along with that mustering and the work."

He notes the industry may need to further examine policy in regards to depopulation and testing.

"Are we overdoing it compared to what we need to be? And are we destroying more cattle than we need to? But that's something that I think industry needs to look at with the likes of CFIA. What are trade implications? What are all those things with any of these reportable diseases, because they do create a lot of extra work, cost and hardship to our producers."

Boon predicts the investigation will last about two years.

According to Canada's chief veterinarian, the reported case of bovine tuberculosis is a distinct strain never before found in wildlife or domestic livestock in Canada.

 

Send your news tips, story ideas and comments to [email protected]

Follow on Twitter @GoldenWestABAg @JessicaR_Giles

 

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