Bovine TB spreads to 2 more counties - WNEM TV 5

Bovine TB spreads to 2 more counties

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A cow grazing. A cow grazing.

Following the diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis in cattle at a Saginaw County farm, the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture and Rural Development announced that the TB has spread to cattle in Midland and Gratiot counties.

In March of this year, an entire cattle herd near Hemlock tested positive for bovine TB.

Now offspring purchased from the bovine tuberculosis-positive Hemlock dairy farm have been traced to farms in Midland and Gratiot Counties -- and they are also TB positive.

"Michigan is fortunate to have regulatory veterinarians knowledgeable on trace testing and epidemiological investigations," said Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD Director. "And, thanks to years of hard work, MDARD is well-prepared to handle this investigation."

In March, a Saginaw County dairy farm was discovered to be bovine TB positive when a cull cow with lesions went to slaughter.  Examiners removed the cow and sent it for laboratory testing. As part of its bovine TB response plan, MDARD quarantined this farm and immediately started an investigation into where any deacon calves (bull calves from dairy cows, usually raised for beef) or heifers may have gone. 

The search found two small beef herds; one in Midland County and another in Gratiot County, both raising deacon calves from the affected Saginaw County herd. 

Cattle with a skin test response were euthanized and submitted to Michigan State University's Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health for laboratory examination.   

The MDARD news release continued with the following statement:

The Animal Industry Act, Public Act 466 of 1988, as amended, directs MDARD to conduct bovine TB surveillance testing each time a new TB affected herd is discovered.  Accordingly, MDARD will bovine TB test cattle in two additional special surveillance areas in 10-mile circles around these two farms.  Cattle producers will be notified directly by MDARD if they lie within the 10-mile circles. Those contacted will also be given an opportunity to request disease control permits to remove deer as part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) disease surveillance effort in these circles.

An informational meeting for beef and dairy cattle producers in the Gratiot and Midland County circles is scheduled for Monday, May 20, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bethany Township Hall, 9958 N. Blair Road, Breckenridge, Michigan, 48615.

Bovine TB is an infectious disease that is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium bovis. Bovine TB primarily affects cattle; however, other Michigan animals have become infected as bovine TB can be transmitted between wildlife populations and other mammals, including humans.

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