Overview - Canadian Food Inspection Agency Bovine Tuberculosis Surveillance in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area

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Bovine TB surveillance is a key component in Canada's efforts to eradicate the disease.

Although a finding of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in Canadian livestock is rare, the spread of the disease from infected wildlife populations represents an ongoing risk that could jeopardize Canada's efforts to eradicate the disease. In 2003, after several TB-infected cattle herds were found linked to infected wildlife (elk and deer) of the Riding Mountain National Park area, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) established a special surveillance zone known as the Riding Mountain Eradication Area (RMEA).

In the RMEA, the CFIA has worked closely with livestock producers, the livestock industry, and federal and provincial partners to conduct periodic TB testing of livestock herds considered to be at higher risk because of the presence of the disease in wildlife in the area. This activity allows for early detection and guards against potential further spread which protects the hard-won health status of Canada's domestic livestock herds.

The CFIA also collaborates with our partners more broadly on additional measures, such as wildlife testing and biosecurity, which aim to prevent the spread of disease from wildlife to livestock and ultimately eradicate bovine TB from the area. Over time, significant progress has been made - the last TB-infected livestock herd was in 2008 and prevalence in wildlife has steadily declined since 2006. The CFIA acknowledges the contributions of all partners, including their support and cooperation, in these efforts.

The table below shows the approximate number of animals and herds tested for bovine TB in the RMEA between 2000 and 2016. The CFIA pays for the costs associated with conducting this testing, while cattle owners are responsible for presenting cattle for testing.
Testing Years Approximate Number of Animals Tested for TB Approximate Number of Herds Tested for TB
2015-2016 4,289 43
2014-2015 2,714 32
2013-2014 4,219 54
2012-2013 3,400 27
2011-2012 7,523 79
2010-2011 18,214 204
2009-2010 15,190 160
2008-2009 11,429 116
2007-2008 18,207 227
2006-2007 7,156 58
2005-2006 36,700 392
2004-2005 34,000 406
2003-2004 22,000 300
2000-2003 50,000 625

The CFIA currently has no livestock herd testing planned for 2017-18. Efforts are currently focused on supporting partner's ongoing wildlife surveillance activates and analyzing historical livestock testing towards demonstrating disease freedom in the RMEA.

Working together in partnership for Canadians

The health of Canadian livestock is a responsibility shared by individual owners, the industry as a whole, and governments. All stakeholders recognize that surveillance is an important component in determining the disease status of herds in the area. Surveillance is used to detect the presence of disease in both domestic and wildlife species, which then allows for procedures to be implemented preventing the spread of the disease.

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