A trace investigation from the 64th bovine tuberculosis infected herd conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the United States Department of Agriculture recently confirmed a medium-sized beef herd as bovine TB positive in Alcona County. This is the 65th cattle herd in Michigan found with bovine TB since and the 16th in Alcona County since 1998.

Alcona County, Michigan Image/David Benbennick
Alcona County, Michigan
Image/David Benbennick

An informational meeting for beef and dairy cattle producers in Alcona County is scheduled for:

May 24, 2016 at 7 p.m. at Mitchell Township Hall,
6849 W. Tower Road, Curran, MI 48728

Bovine TB is an infectious bacterial disease primarily affecting cattle; however, it can be spread between wildlife populations and other mammals, including humans. This herd is located in a county where bovine TB is endemic in the free-ranging white-tailed deer. Any contact either directly or indirectly with the deer can spread bovine TB to a herd.

“Successful investigations are a direct result of ongoing efforts by Michigan’s cattle producers, in cooperation with MDARD, to properly identify cattle leaving Michigan farms,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Assistant State Veterinarian. “Pinpointing where animals have traveled and being able to specifically find them within a herd is key in preventing the spread of bovine TB.”

In designated bovine TB portions of the Northeastern Lower Peninsula, annual surveillance testing and testing before movement is required. These testing precautions are designed to catch the disease in the very earliest stages and prevent the disease from spreading to other farms. In addition, all cattle in Michigan must have electronic identification ear tags before they move from a farm which assists MDARD in tracing cattle movement in the event of a disease investigation.