Dairy Cow Herd in Michigan Tests Positive for Bovine TB

April 24, 2015 04:06 PM
Dairy Cow Herd in Michigan Tests Positive for Bovine TB

A medium-sized herd of dairy cows in Michigan's northeastern Lower Peninsula has tested positive for bovine tuberculosis, according to the state.

Routine surveillance testing made the confirmation in Alpena County, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said in a release.

It is the 61st herd in Michigan found to have the infectious bacterial disease since 1998. Bovine tuberculosis affects cattle and white-tailed deer in the northeastern Lower Peninsula. It can be transmitted between wildlife populations and other mammals, including humans.

"Finding TB in a herd is always hard on the impacted farm," said Rick Smith, assistant state veterinarian. "This case underscores why annual testing is so important and why we collectively continue to work toward eradicating this disease."

An informational meeting for Alpena County beef and dairy cattle producers has been scheduled for May 14 at the Green Township Hall in Lachine.

Annual surveillance testing is designed to catch the disease in the earliest stages. Michigan has been testing cattle for bovine TB since 1995.

In order to prevent bovine TB from spreading to other farms, each herd must undergo annual testing and any additional movement off a farm must include a TB test within 30 days before movement. All cattle in Michigan also must have electronic identification ear tags before they are moved from a farm. Electronic identification allows the state to trace cattle and control the spread of the disease in the event of an investigation.

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