Food In Canada


Industry, feds seek simpler animal screening

The federal government invests in research to find a new test for bovine tuberculosis

Ottawa – New initiatives on the part of the federal government and industry could lead to new and more cost-effective screening tests to detect animal diseases.

Yesterday, the federal government announced it’s working with industry to identify a new diagnostic test for bovine tuberculosis in cattle that will be simpler and more cost-effective for regulatory agencies to administer.

Gerry Ritz, agriculture minister, at the Canadian Cattlemen's Association picnic on Parliament Hill. The feds are investing $320,000 toward finding a new test for bovine TB.

“The faster we can pinpoint disease, the shorter the downtime for our hardworking cattle producers and the sooner they can get their businesses back up and running,” says Gerry Ritz, agriculture minister.


The investment, which is through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, is designed to help the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) evaluate alternative bovine TB tests that will be more reliable and cost-effective than the current tuberculin skin test.

The CCA will work with regulatory agencies such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to design and provide input to an evaluation study.

If successful, the study will identify one or a combination of tests that will be less cumbersome and less expensive for regulatory agencies to administer.

“Having a rapid, simple and inexpensive blood test that can detect bovine TB in cattle will help to achieve the final eradication of this insidious disease sooner than is possible with existing tools,” says Travis Toews, the CCA’s president.