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Updated: 18th October 2018 01:57

Bovine TB quarantine expands to 50 ranches in Alberta, Saskatchewan

The number of ranches under quarantine has risen to 50 from 40 after an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says.

First phase of testing expected to be finished by early January

Cattle at a ranch in Jenner, Alta., where the first cows that tested positive for bovine TB were discovered in September 2016. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The number of ranches under quarantine has risen to 50 from 40 after an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says. 

The number of confirmed cases remains unchanged at six.

"All confirmed cases are still from one infected herd across 18 premises," said Dr. Harpeet Kochhar, CFIA chief veterinary officer.

Most of the affected locations are in Alberta, while roughly five are in Saskatchewan.

The total number of animals quarantined has increased to more than 26,000, up from 22,000 cattle.

There is no change to the number of cattle that are to be destroyed — around 10,000 — but that number could increase.

A first phase of testing is expected to be finished by early January.

Animals that test positive for TB and are killed will have postmortem examinations, which could take longer.

The first group of "reactors" — cows that tested positive — has been killed and so far there have been no more signs of lesions or tuberculosis.

"In all cases, where bovine TB is suspected or confirmed, the goal is to minimize disruptions to producers while respecting Canada's domestic and international obligations," said Dr. Kochhar.

"These measures are critical for protecting the health of Canadian livestock and maintaining market access for Canadian beef producers."

Compensation teams continue to meet with producers as industry liaison is embedded in the western area.

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