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New Mad Cow Case Surfaces in Alberta

CALGARY -- A 13-year-old beef cow from Alberta has been diagnosed with mad cow disease -- the 11th case since the first diseased animal was discovered in 2003.

The animal was from a farm east of Red Deer, Alta.

It was thin and was initially thought to have an abdominal infection, said George Luterbach, a senior veterinarian with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

But tests instead revealed bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.

No part of the carcass entered the human food or animal feed systems, officials said.

Red Deer is located about 140 kilometres north of Calgary.

Luterbach said the case was detected as part of Canada's ongoing surveillance program for mad cow. The program has tested about 190,000 animals since 2003.

The surveillance results reflect an extremely low incidence of mad cow in Canada.

The infected animal was born before the implementation of the 1997 feed ban and falls within the range of previous cases detected in Canada, the agency said.

The ban prohibits cattle-derived materials such as the brain and spinal cord -- which have the potential to harbour mad cow disease -- from being used in all animal feeds, pet foods and fertilizers.

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