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B. C. Cattle Found With Brucellosis

The Canadian government’s food regulator has placed animals on two farms under quarantine in the Pacific Coast province of British Columbia after U. S. testing found three cows were carrying brucellosis, a contagious bacterial disease that can cause abortions, weakened offspring an infertility in animals.

Three beef cows from the farms were found carrying the disease, according to U. S. protocols, during routine slaughter testing in the United States, a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) spokesman said May 27.

The United States Department of Agriculture has placed temporary import restrictions on sexually intact cattle and bison that have lived in the province since March 25, 2010, requiring that they test negative for the disease prior to export. Most of Canada’s trading partners already require testing of live animals for brucellosis prior to export, including several U. S. states, the CFIA said.

British Columbia is a minor producer of cattle among Canadian provinces.

Brucellosis, last detected in cattle in Canada in 1989, can cause a disease in humans called undulant fever but human cases are rare in Canada, the agency said.

Animals on the British Columbia farms are under quarantine while the CFIA tests them for the disease and traces the movement of animals on and off the farms.

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