Annual Testing in Bovine TB Area Finds Infected Herd in Alpena County

LANSING, MI – Routine bovine tuberculosis (TB) surveillance testing conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently confirmed a medium size dairy herd as bovine TB positive in Alpena County.bovine

This is the 61st herd found in Michigan with bovine TB since 1998. Bovine TB is an infectious bacterial disease that affects cattle and white-tailed deer in Michigan’s northeastern Lower Peninsula.

An informational meeting for beef and dairy cattle producers in Alpena County is scheduled for:  May 14, 2015 at 7 PM at the Green Township Hall, 14621 M 32 W., Lachine, MI  49753.

“Finding TB in a herd is always hard on the impacted farm. This case underscores why annual testing is so important and why we collectively continue to work toward eradicating this disease,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Assistant State Veterinarian.

Annual surveillance testing is designed to catch disease in the very earliest stages. Michigan has a small area where TB is endemic in the deer herd. In order to prevent it 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 must also have electronic identification eartags before they may move from the farm. Electronic identification allows MDARD to trace cattle and control the spread of disease in the event of an investigation.

Bovine TB is an infectious disease that is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium bovis. Bovine TB primarily affects cattle; however, in Michigan wild white-tailed deer in northern Lower Michigan have become infected. Bovine TB can be transmitted between wildlife populations and other mammals, including humans.

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