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Bad feed to blame

An official investigation into Canada’s 13th case of mad cow disease said on Thursday infected feed was most likely to blame – the same reason given in many previous cases.

The animal, a five-year-old dairy cow from a farm in British Columbia, was identified in June 2008. Since then an additional instance of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has been discovered in Canada.

“Considering the farm’s feeding regime and specific production records reviewed, a likely source of exposure to BSE infectivity was the heifer ration (a kind of feed),” the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said in a statement.

The CFIA introduced strict feed rules last year that it said should help eliminate the disease nationally within a decade. It says that until then, a handful of new cases are likely to appear.

Canada has been deemed a “controlled risk” country for mad cow disease by the World Organization for Animal Health because of its surveillance and control measures.

“The detection of this case does not change any of Canada’s BSE risk parameters. The location and age of the animal are consistent with previous cases. Surveillance results to date, including this case, reflect an extremely low level of BSE in Canada,” the CFIA said.

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