An older cow in Alberta recently tested positive for Atypical BSE.

A statement from Alberta Agriculture Minister Nate Horner says there's no risk to human health, it's not transmissible, and this case is not expected to have market impacts.

Federal agriculture critic and Alberta Foothills MP John Barlow says it just shows the country's surveillance system works.

"That's what those monitoring programs are there for, ensuring we have a stringent protocol when it comes to BSE or other viruses, the WTO granted our "negligible risk status" for BSE earlier this year and they would not have done that if they did not see the CFIA and the cattle producers had very stringent world-class monitoring programs in place."

Horner's statement goes on to say, “The quick discovery of this atypical case proves how effective the Canada and Alberta BSE Surveillance Program is and how dedicated our producers are to eliminating BSE in Canada’s cattle herd.

“Atypical BSE spontaneously happens at a rate of about one in one million cattle regardless of how well a producer takes care of their herd. It has been reported six times in the U.S., most recently in 2018, as well as a few other countries."

Barlow says all the tools are in place to catch it when it happens.

"It's been identified in the U.S. on multiple occasions, we know it'll pop up now and again and that's why we monitor it, we have very stringent animal welfare and biosecurity measures on ranches, farms, and processing plants to ensure that if it is found it's isolated quickly and does not impact our trade relationships or our reputation of having world-class beef production."

Alberta government and CFIA officials met on December 20, with stakeholders from across the cattle industry to answer questions, and reassured them that all levels of government are working together on this case.