Bovine tuberculosis (TB) has been confirmed in a South Dakota beef herd. State Veterinarian Dr. Dustin Oedekoven says that an infected cow was initially identified in October by meat inspectors during routine inspection at a Texas slaughterhouse.
Official animal identification records linked the cow to a Tripp County beef herd. Herd testing and laboratory confirmation has revealed additional infected animals in the herd. “We are working closely with the affected herd owner, USDA officials, area veterinarians, neighboring herd owners and wildlife officials to evaluate the extent of the disease.”
The investigation will also attempt to determine the source of the infection. Necessary precautions are being taken to protect the health of South Dakota’s cattle industry.
Oedekoven further stated that bovine TB is not a food safety threat, thanks to milk pasteurization and meat inspection programs. Bovine TB is a chronic, slowly progressive respiratory disease of cattle. Infected animals may transmit infection to other animals in close proximity. Cattle rarely show visible signs of illness, and individual testing of cattle herds is necessary to determine if animals are infected. The US has nearly eliminated bovine TB due to a cooperative eradication campaign. South Dakota has officially been recognized as free of the disease since 1982.