The International Team that evaluated Canada’s investigation into the single case of BSE detected in an Alberta cow has recommended that Specified Risk Materials (SRMs) be removed entirely from the food chain.
Canadian experts have established epidemiological evidence that supports the probability that the BSE was associated with exposure to infective material through the feeding system at some point early in the life of the animal.
"The Canadian experts have established epidemiological evidence that supports the probability that the expression of BSE in the case animal was associated with exposure to infective material through the feeding system at some point early in the life of the animal," the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says.
Other recommended measures include a review of animal feed restrictions; strengthened tracking and tracing systems; improved disease testing and surveillance; and efforts to improve disease awareness among producers, veterinarians and the public.
"Canada’s food supply continues to be safe," said Minister of Health Anne McLellan. "Our number one priority is the health and safety of Canadians. `Health Canada will build on the measures already in place to protect public health and safety.
"Canada has one of the world’s best food safety systems, and we intend to make our system even safer," said Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lyle Vanclief. "The International Team underlined the quality of the Canadian investigation into this case and the effectiveness of measures already in place in Canada to protect the public. The Government of Canada will quickly respond to the panel’s recommendations. In particular, we agree with the need for early action on SRMs and are committed to introducing changes as quickly as possible."
The international team of animal disease experts travelled to Canada June 7, 2003 to assess the CFIA’s BSE investigation and Canada’s overall BSE protective measures. The team comprised scientists from Switzerland, the United States and New Zealand. The Government of Canada is grateful for the input and advice of such recognized international public and animal health experts and acknowledges their support for the actions Canada is taking.
The report is available on the CFIA Website at http://www.inspection.gc.ca.