Michigan Confirms Bovine TB in Dairy Herd

June 25, 2012 02:15 PM

The Alpena County farm is quarantined, and no cattle may enter or leave the premises until testing clears the cattle and farm of the disease.

Routine bovine Tuberculosis (TB) surveillance testing conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and USDA recently confirmed a medium size dairy herd as bovine TB-positive in Alpena County, the Michigan agency announced June 22.

Bovine TB is an infectious bacterial disease that affects cattle and white-tailed deer in Michigan’s northeastern Lower Peninsula.

The Alpena County farm is currently quarantined and no cattle may enter or leave the premises until testing clears the cattle and farm of bovine TB, either through premises depopulation, or a test and remove process.

“Our surveillance testing is vital to helping us return all of Michigan to TB-Free status,” said Dr. James Averill, Animal Industry Division Director at MDARD. “In addition to surveillance testing, farmers are employing tools to keep deer away from their cattle, which will help Michigan have fewer TB positive herds.”

A public information meeting will be held on July 12, 2012 at 7 p.m. in Lecture Room 101 of the Donnelly Natural Resources Center at Alpena Community College, 665 Johnson Street, in Alpena, Mich.

Northeastern Lower Michigan is designated as a Modified Accredited Zone (MAZ) and is comprised of Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, and Oscoda counties. The MAZ is a USDA designation for the purposes of controlled cattle movement, TB testing, and disease eradication.

Since the bovine TB eradication effort began, all of Michigan's 14,000 cattle farms have undergone TB testing. Since 1998, MDARD and USDA have detected 54 TB positive cattle herds and four privately owned cervid operations in the northern section of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

In 2011, Presque Isle County’s TB status became Modified Accredited Advanced (MAA), which is one step closer to becoming bovine TB-Free. The MAA Zone now includes Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Otsego, and Presque Isle counties. The Upper Peninsula is Bovine TB-Free; additionally in 2011, USDA moved the lower 57 counties of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula to TB-Free status as well.

Since 1995, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has tested more than 188,000 free-ranging white-tailed deer with 703 testing positive for bovine TB. Strategies adopted by the DNR to reduce bovine TB in free-ranging white-tailed deer have reduced the apparent prevalence of the disease from the high in 1995 of 4.9 percent to 1.2 percent in Deer Management Unit 452 in 2011.


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