In a follow-up on the anthrax situation in South Dakota,  State Veterinarian Dr. Dustin Oedekoven says anthrax is responsible for recent death loss in a cattle herd in Bon Homme County.

Bacillus anthracis bacteria Image/CDC
Bacillus anthracis bacteria

Four adult cattle died suddenly last week in the herd, which had not been vaccinated against anthrax.

The comes after reports of 8 deaths in a Clark County herd.

Anthrax: An interview with Dr Buddy Faries

Livestock producers are advised that anthrax should be suspected in cases of sudden death loss. Affected animals are often found dead with no prior illness detected. Suspicious cases should be reported immediately to a local veterinarian or to the state veterinarian at the South Dakota Animal Industry Board. Anthrax is transmissible to people and other animals. Precaution and veterinarian guidance should be taken in handling, moving, or disturbing carcasses that are suspected to have died of anthrax.

An effective vaccine is available to protect livestock from anthrax, and producers across the state should consult their veterinarians regarding appropriate vaccination protocols. Strict enforcement of quarantines and proper disposal of carcasses from livestock suspected to have died from anthrax is important to prevent further soil contamination with the bacterial spores.