“Montana Jones today brought to my attention an interesting article (“CFIA to give up on wiping out anaplasmosis”) published at Grainews.ca, a website that provides daily news on agriculture topics to Canadians. Here’s the link.
I’ve never heard of anaplasmosis before, but the article makes it clear that, like scrapie, it has been classified as a “reportable” disease under Canadian law until this latest announcement. Anaplasmosis is apparently caused by a parasitic micro-organism and has been detected in wild animals (deer) as well as in cattle, sheep and goats.
Anaplasmosis shares the following additional characteristics with scrapie:
- it does not pose a human health risk
- it causes a loss of productivity in affected cattle (decline in milk production), just as scrapie causes a decline in productivity for sheep (loss of wool, fewer lambs)
- it is “rarely fatal” in young animals, but mortality rises in older animals
- the disease is of “economic importance” to the cattle industry, as scrapie allegedly is to the sheep industry
- once an animal is infected, it remains a carrier of the disease for the rest of its life.
The CFIA has apparently decided that “…the continuing attempt to eradicate the disease within Canada may not be feasible.” Therefore, they have taken it off their list of reportable diseases.
Last year, when I was working on the judicial review application for Montana Jones to quash the destruction order for her rare Shropshire sheep, an expert on prion diseases expressed the opinion to me that scrapie was also impossible to eradicate, and that highly placed scientific staff within the CFIA were well aware of that fact….”
What is Anaplasmosis?