TB confirmed in Minnesota herd
For the first time in 34 years, bovine tuberculosis has been confirmed in a Minnesota cattle herd, and will result in approximately 900 cattle being euthanized in the northern region of the state.
Last week the Minnesota Board of Animal Health said a five-year-old cow that was slaughtered Feb. 28 was found to have “suspicious internal lesions,” by a federal meat processing inspector. Laboratory tests confirmed the cow had TB. The animal was traced back to a herd in Roseau County, which is on the border with Canada. USDA bought a portion of the herd for further testing. Of the animals slaughtered, 18 cases of the disease were confirmed.
Last Tuesday, USDA declared the herd infected and the started the process for destroying it. USDA will pay the owner a salvage value for all the animals. The name of the producer was not release.
“Our surveillance system worked. The disease was detected," said Dr. Bill Hartmann, a veterinarian and executive director for Minnesota’s livestock board. "Now we'll focus on tracing any animals that left the herd in the last seven years as well as determining a possible source of infection.”
The state will only lose its TB-free designation only if another infected animal is found within the next year, and if that animal was not related to the current investigation. The board said it was very unlikely that TB would get into the supply of milk or beef because inspectors watch for it. Also, cooking kills the bacteria.
Because the disease is capable of jumping from cattle to deer, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced it will test for the bacteria in deer killed in Roseau County during the fall hunting season. — WLJ
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