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Rare case of atypical mad cow disease reported in Alberta

FILE - The BC SPCA seized 216 beef cattle, including approximately 80 weaned calves, from a Vancouver Island property on Jan. 20, 2022, after their owner allegedly neglected them.
Alberta Agriculture Minister Nate Horner says an older animal has tested positive for atypical mad cow disease in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Alberta Agriculture Minister Nate Horner says an older animal has tested positive for atypical mad cow disease in the province.

It’s Alberta’s first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as BSE, in almost six years.

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Horner says atypical BSE presents no risk to human health and is not transmissible.

He says the case is not expected to affect the market and quick detection demonstrates that inspectors and producers are dedicated to keeping the disease out of Canada’s cattle herd.

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This type of BSE happens at a rate of about one in one million cattle and has been reported six times in the United States, the last time in 2018.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is leading the response and officials are to meet with stakeholders Monday to answer any questions.

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