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Anthrax Warning

Anthrax Warning

North Dakota's top animal health official is warning livestock producers in areas with a history of anthrax to protect their animals.

A case of anthrax was recently confirmed in a beef cow from Stark County, N.D. It is the first confirmed case of anthrax recorded in the state this year.

"Cattle producers should be sure their animals are current on vaccinations," says Susan Keller, North Dakota's state veterinarian.

An effective vaccine is readily available through veterinarians.

 "Producers should contact their veterinarians to determine when and if their animals should be vaccinated and that their boosters are up to date," she said. "They should also monitor their herds for unexpected deaths and report them to their veterinarians.

Anthrax, which causes sudden death, was found recently in a beef cow in North Dakota. Short grass and dry conditions are increasing the risk that animals will ingest bacteria.

Keller says dry pastures and short grass are ideal conditions for livestock to ingest anthrax spores and develop the disease.

Anthrax has been most frequently reported in northeast, southeast and south central North Dakota, but it has been suspected in almost every part of the state. The state usually records a few anthrax cases every year, but in 2005, the disease killed more than 500 head of cattle, bison, horses, sheep, llamas and farmed deer and elk

More anthrax information is available on the North Dakota Department of Agriculture website at

Source: ND Department of Agriculture.

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