On the heels of an announcement of a small beef herd in Alpena County testing positive for bovine tuberculosis, another herd has tested positive for the bacterial disease that primarily affects cattle, but is endemic in the free-ranging white-tailed deer population.
State veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM, recently announced that a small beef herd in Presque Isle County also has tested positive, making it the 75th cattle herd to be identified with bovine TB in Michigan since 1998.
“The animals were confirmed positive for bovine TB by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories on April 26,” Wineland said in a news release. “Every time bovine TB animals are identified, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) work to track where the animals have come from and how they could have been exposed.
“A key piece of information used in the investigation is whole genome sequencing. Whole genome sequencing is a specific test that can identify the DNA of the TB bacteria, helping to determine the source of the infection. DNA results are expected by the end of May. When these results are received, an informational meeting will be held to discuss potential next steps for Presque Isle County, as a result of finding this infected herd.”
Bovine TB is a bacterial disease primarily affecting cattle. However, it can be spread between wildlife populations and other mammals, including humans. Michigan has been working to eradicate bovine TB since 1994 when a white-tailed deer tested positive in Alpena County.
As part of MDARD’s standard disease response, an investigation will be conducted to identify and test herds that had an association with the infected herd.
Deer, cattle health meetings scheduled
MDARD, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State University Extension and the USDA’s Wildlife Services are partnering for a discussion on deer and cattle health in northeastern Michigan.
The goal is to ensure the groups most affected by bovine TB are aware of the latest information.
May’s Herd & Hunter Bovine TB Connections meetings will feature Phil Durst from MSU Extension. He will present on deer and cattle gut health and the nutritional needs of both species. In addition, the DNR, MDARD and USDA Wildlife Services will provide updates on programs and activities that affect the bovine TB area.
The two TB meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at Wilson Township Hall in Alpena, Mich., and 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at the Oscoda County Community Center in Mio, Mich.
Questions about this herd can be directed to MDARD at 800-292-3939. More information on bovine TB can be found at michigan.gov/bovinetb.