OTTAWA — The federal minister of agriculture says Canada is an important step closer to being recognized as a negligible-risk country for mad cow disease.
Marie-Claude Bibeau says in a news release that the scientific commission of the World Organisation for Animal Health has suggested to its delegates that Canada’s application to change its status fulfils requirements.
Canada has been a controlled-risk country for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, since 2007.
One of the criteria for the change is for Canada to show that infected domestic animals were born more than 11 years prior.
The country’s last case was in 2015 in a cow born in 2009.
Delegates are to vote on Canada’s application at the organization’s next world assembly at the end of May.
A change to negligible BSE-risk status would help secure and negotiate access for Canadian cattle and beef products to trade markets.
Bibeau says the federal government worked closely with the provinces and industry to put forward a strong application based on data.
“Beef producers can be pleased that Canada has taken an important step to being recognized as negligible risk for BSE,” she said in the release Friday. “Although we still need to await the final vote, I am optimistic that this will soon allow them to expand their markets for cattle and beef exports to the U.S. and other foreign markets.”