FILE - In this April 18, 2013 file photo, Curtis Temple watches over his cattle during a drive headed for sale south of Scenic, S.D. The South Dakota State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven is taking steps to repeal a nearly 40-year-old rule requiring quarantine for baby calves entering the state without their mothers. Oedekoven will propose the rule change at the Animal Industry Board meeting Tuesday, July 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Rapid City Journal, Chris Huber, File)

FILE - In this April 18, 2013 file photo, Curtis Temple watches over his cattle during a drive headed for sale south of Scenic, S.D. The South Dakota State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven is taking steps to repeal a nearly 40-year-old rule requiring quarantine for baby calves entering the state without their mothers. Oedekoven will propose the rule change at the Animal Industry Board meeting Tuesday, July 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Rapid City Journal, Chris Huber, File)

Cattle producers say they need financial help over bovine TB quarantine

Rancher Brad Osadczuk says having his cattle quarantined for the last two months due to a bovine tuberculosis outbreak ishurting his business and his family — and he wants the federal government to step in with financial help.

Rancher Brad Osadczuk says having his cattle quarantined for the last two months due to a bovine tuberculosis outbreak is hurting his business and his family — and he wants the federal government to step in with financial help.

Osadczuk’s learned on Sept. 22 that one of his cows had the contagious bacterial disease. Five other cattle linked to his herd have since tested positive for TB.

The case has led the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to quarantine 34 ranches in southeastern Alberta and two in Saskatchewan as it tries to determine the source of the TB and how far it has spread.

The problem for Osadczuk and other producers whose herds are under quarantine is they can’t sell or move any of their livestock and must continue feeding their cattle until the investigation is complete, something that could take months.

Osadczuk said he plans to deliver a message to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Agriculture in Ottawa on Tuesday.

“We need some help here. Having these cattle quarantined and not selling them is costing me literally thousands of dollars per day,” he said from his ranch near Jenner, Alta., just north of Canadian Forces Base Suffield.

“There is a lot of turmoil and it is hard on the family and the whole neighbourhood.”

Osadczuk said the CFIA plans to destroy 385 of his cows, 385 calves and 51 bulls as part of the investigation, but he has other cattle to feed.

The CFIA pays for animals that it kills, but there is no compensation for other costs. About 18,000 cattle are under quarantine in the region.

The agency is doing a risk assessment to determine whether other herds need to be declared infected. It has said the TB is linked to a strain first discovered in Mexico in 1997.

Tom Herman, president of the Suffield Grazing Co-op, said some ranchers wonder if the disease is from wild elk.

Some elk were shipped to CFB Suffield in 1997 and 1998 from a national park. Over the years, those elk have multiplied into a herd now estimated at about 5,000.

Herman said one of the pastures ranchers in the area use to graze cattle in the summer is in the northern part of CFB Suffield.

“It is definitely a potential source,” he said.

Joel Nicholson, a senior Alberta wildlife biologist, said there is no evidence the TB is from wild elk.

The province, which has jurisdiction over wildlife, has been trying to reduce the size of the elk herd through hunting. It requires anyone who kills an elk on the base to submit the head for disease tests.

Nicholson said about 1,500 elk heads have been tested over the years and hundreds more are expected over the next few months.

“We know that the elk were TB-free when they were brought in and, at this point, there is no evidence to suggest that the disease came from the elk.”

The CFIA has said the TB outbreak has no effect on food safety or trade.

Bovine TB can be transmitted from infected animals to people, causing a condition similar to human tuberculosis, but the CFIA says the risk to the general population is very low.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mason Ward battles with a Medicine Hat Tigers’ forward during the WHL Central Division season opener. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers come back to spoil Red Deer Rebels home opener

It’s been nearly 345 days since the Red Deer Rebels last played… Continue reading

Students walk into Hunting Hills High School, which is one of the Red Deer Public Schools with solar panels on its roof. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school was placed in lockdown following potential threat

Hunting Hills High School was placed in a lockdown Friday after Red… Continue reading

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some details of the provincial government’s 2021-22 budget need to be ‘sorted out’ when it comes to the hospital expansion funding. (File photo by Advocate staff)
More detail needed regarding hospital funding, says Red Deer mayor

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some information is unclear regarding the… Continue reading

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Need a knife? There are knives of all shapes and sizes at The Kitchen Store.
Hints from Heloise: Finding a good set of kitchen knives

Dear Readers: A good set of knives in the kitchen is a… Continue reading

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships Thursday, July 25, 2019 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

New York Red Bulls midfielder Jared Stroud, right, vies for the ball against Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio during an MLS soccer match in Harrison, NJ., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. Entering his ninth season with Toronto FC, Jonathan Osorio said his off-season regimen was no different than in the past. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
Veteran TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio looks to take it to the next level this season

Veteran TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio looks to take it to the next level this season

Powell, Lowry help depleted Raptors beat Rockets

Powell, Lowry help depleted Raptors beat Rockets

Edmonton Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen (19) makes the save on Toronto Maple Leafs' Zach Hyman (11) as Tyson Barrie (22) defends during third period NHL action in Edmonton, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. Toronto continues to lead the North Division standings, but hard-charging Edmonton is now just four points back on the all-Canadian circuit heading into a three-game series between the teams in Alberta's capital beginning Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Maple Leafs, Oilers set for key three-game series atop North Division

Maple Leafs, Oilers set for key three-game series atop North Division

Angela James stands on centre ice in front of the Toronto Maple Leafs team after being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame before Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday November 6, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Hall of Famers James, Lowe, Hay named to Order of Hockey in Canada

Hall of Famers James, Lowe, Hay named to Order of Hockey in Canada

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse talks to center Aron Baynes (46) and guard Norman Powell (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris O'Meara
Nurse, five Raptors assistants sidelined to due COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Nurse, five Raptors assistants sidelined to due COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Most Read