On Monday, Canada recorded its sixteenth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in five and one-half years. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed BSE in a seven-year-old cow from British Columbia.

No part of the animal’s carcass entered the human food or animal-feed systems, the agency reported.

The animal’s birth farm has been identified, and an investigation is under way. The Food Inspection Agency is tracing the animal’s herdmates at the time of birth and examining possible sources of infection. The age of the infected animal is consistent with previous cases detected in Canada.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health, 16 native-born cases have been detected in Canada: two in 2003; one each in 2004 and 2005, five cases in 2006, three in 2007 and four in 2008 (including the latest case reported here).