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Canada Exceeds BSE Testing Target for 2005

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Feb 10, 2005
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OTTAWA, June 24 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada has surpassed its testing target
established for 2005 for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) surveillance.
The target for this year was 30,000 cattle and, as of June 17, there have been
32,363 samples collected and tested through the provincial and federal
laboratory network in Canada.
The level and design of BSE testing in Canada is in full accordance with
the guidelines recommended by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
The samples collected target the highest risk cattle within the national herd.
This includes all animals over 30 months of age that are dead, down, dying or
diseased, and clinical suspects of any age. This targeted surveillance program
is crucial to defining the level of BSE in Canada and to confirming the
effectiveness of the suite of measures in place to protect human and animal
health from the disease. Based on the intensity and sensitivity of the testing
program and the information collected in Canada's BSE investigations, the
evidence continues to demonstrate that the prevalence of BSE in Canada is
extremely low and continuing to decline.
"Surpassing this surveillance target at the mid-year point illustrates
the effectiveness of the national BSE surveillance program and the high level
of commitment from Canadian producers to finding the disease," said Minister
of Agriculture and Agri-Food Andy Mitchell.
In 2004, a BSE Surveillance Reimbursement Program was implemented that
provides payments to producers for their services when eligible samples are
submitted to the national program. These payments assist producers in covering
a portion of the veterinary examination fees and carcass disposal costs. Many
provinces have also demonstrated their commitment by providing additional
support to the reimbursement program through increased laboratory capacity,
education and awareness campaigns, sampling assistance and financial
supplements to the federal payments. This collective effort is critical to a
successful national surveillance program and to the continued demonstration of
vigilance in animal and public health and food safety in Canada.

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