Agricultural officials in Saskatchewan, Canada are reporting a case of anthrax in a cow from the Rural Municipality of Hazel Dell No. 335, on December 5. Anthrax is the suspected cause of death in two other cattle from the same herd.

Image/Agricultural Research Service/USDA
Image/Agricultural Research Service/USDA

The suspected source of anthrax is believed to be soil-contaminated slough hay.  As feed is the source, there is not a widespread geographical risk.  However, producers are reminded to be vigilant.

LISTEN: Dr Floron (Buddy) C. Faries, Professor & Extension Veterinarian, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and with the National Center for Foreign Animal & Zoonotic Disease Defense discusses animal anthrax Nov. 19, 2013. 

Saskatchewan Agriculture says anthrax can be prevented by vaccination.  Producers in regions that have experienced previous outbreaks are strongly encouraged to vaccinate their animals each year.

Anyone who suspects anthrax should contact their local veterinarian.  All positive test results are required to be reported to the provincial Chief Veterinary Officer.

Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. Domestic and wild animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, antelope, and deer can become infectedwhen they breathe in or ingest spores in contaminated soil, plants, or water.

Although it is rare, people can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products.

Contact with anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals.

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