Suspected mad cow disease investigated in Alberta

Published 14 July 2006

Authorities in Alberta, Canada, are worried that they have a cow with mad cow disease on their hands; investigations continue

Canada has quarantined an Alberta farm and is testing a dairy cow which was heavily pregnant and suspected of having mad cow disease, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said earlier this week. “The investigation is still in its very preliminary stages. We will, of course, be checking out its 2004 or 2005 calf, if they were born. If they were born, these animals are of interest to us,” said George Luterbach, a veterinarian with the federal food safety agency. “The animal was in its last trimester, or heavily pregnant, so its 2006 progeny or calf was not born.”

The agency is testing the 50-month-old cow after it died on an Alberta farm near the Alberta capital of Edmonton. It was singled out through a surveillance program for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease. Preliminary tests were not able to rule out the disease. “The animals on this farm are animals that are under quarantine,” Luterbach said.