40 cattle operations are affected, with 12 added to the ‘high-risk’ category

Canadian Press

Federal officials say at least 10,000 cattle are going to slaughter as a result of a bovine tuberculosis outbreak 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 for bovine TB since the first case was confirmed in September.

The agency last week declared six properties among those considered as high risk for transmission but added 12 more farms to the expanding list Monday.

So far, quarantine orders have been issued at more than 40 cattle operations in southeast Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan, affecting more than 22,000 animals.

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.

© Canadian Press