Federal officials said Thursday they were testing a 6-year-old dairy cow in British Columbia for mad cow disease.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency was trying to confirm whether it is a new case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. Officials said no part of the animal entered the human food or animal feed systems.

The cow was identified on a Fraser Valley farm through the national BSE surveillance program, possibly the fifth case in Canada since May 2003.

In a written statement, the inspection agency said the case would have no bearing on the safety of Canadian beef if the cow is found to be positive for BSE.

Inspectors have tested roughly 100,000 animals since Canada's first case was detected in Alberta three years ago and have said they expect to find isolated cases of the disease.