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Atypical form of Mad Cow Disease identified in Alberta

Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Rural Economic Development announced Friday afternoon that the Province of Alberta has identified it's first case of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) also known as Mad Cow disease in six years.

Horner said that under the Canada and Alberta BSE Surveillance Program, the case was quickly discovered and the province and the rancher we able to take quick action with the older cow.

"Atypical BSE spontaneously happens at a rate of about one in one million cattle regardless of how well a producer takes care of their herd.

"It has been reported six times in the U.S., most recently in 2018, as well as a few other countries," Horner said in a statement.

The province, along with representatives from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will meet with stakeholders from the cattle industry, " The detection of this atypical case is Canada’s first case of BSE in more than six years, which we owe to our cattle producers’ vigilance and the success of surveillance and control measures we’ve implemented across the country over the past 20 years."

According to the Alberta Government, Mad cow disease is a fatal disease that slowly destroys the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) in cattle.

Since May 2003, 19 cows suspected of having mad cow disease have tested positive for BSE in Canada. No meat from these cows entered the human food supply.

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