Dakota Farmer

Mexican strain of bovine tuberculosis found in North Dakota

Animals that test negative may move to slaughter, but other movements are not allowed.

January 29, 2019

2 Min Read
Black Angus eating hay on snow
TB FOUND: An unusual strain of bovine tuberculosis has been found in North Dakota cattle.

An unusual case of bovine tuberculosis has been discovered in North Dakota. State veterinarians are investigating a beef herd in Sargent County that has strain bovine tuberculosis similar to one previously only found in Mexican cattle.

“In late 2018, we were notified that two adult beef cows originating from the herd tested positive for Mycobacterium bovis at out-of-state slaughter plants,” said Susan Keller, state veterinarian, in a statement issued by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. “The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the TB diagnosis in the cows.”

The herd was subsequently tested by state and federal veterinarians, and five additional cows have been confirmed affected. Additional testing is ongoing.

This strain of TB has not been previously identified in the United States.

Tuberculosis is a zoonotic disease and can be transmitted from animals to humans and from humans to animals. Veterinarians, farmers and others working closely with the cattle are most at risk.

“An epidemiologic investigation is now underway, and further testing will be done to determine the source of the disease and to prevent its spread,” Keller said. “The herd owners are fully cooperating in the investigation.”

There are no other cattle herds that have direct contact with this herd. Animals that test negative for the disease may move directly to slaughter, but other movements are not allowed. Meat from animals that pass inspection is safe for consumption.

Keller said that the bovine tuberculosis eradication program is a state-federal cooperative program and that the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and State Board of Animal Health typically work with USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services on disease responses.

Due to the federal government shutdown, federal funding and field staff are currently limited in their ability to assist. 

Source: NDDA, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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