Federal officials it’s possible 10,000 cattle will be slaughtered and a quarantine could be expanded to curb the spread of bovine tuberculosis in western Canada.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the animals are considered “high risk” for contracting or transmitting the infectious disease, even though only six cattle have tested positive sine the first case was confirmed near Brooks in September.
All the cattle on 18 farms have now been tested and removal and slaughter continues.
40 farms in southeast Alberta remain under quarantine as do five in southwest Saskatchewan.
Farmers losing their animals as part of the slaughter are being compensated for their losses under CFIA guidelines, and the federal government has promised aid to ranchers who’ve had to care for cattle quarantined to their properties.
CFIA chief veterinary officer Dr. Harpeet Kochhar says only slaughtered animals that test negative for bovine TB will be deemed acceptable for human consumption.