December 10, 2008


North Dakota beef herd positive with bovine TB


A North Dakota Beef herd is being tested positive for bovine tuberculosis, following the identification of a cow with a TB lesion at a Minnesota meat processing plant.


State veterinarian Dr. Susan Keller said the situation is still under investigation and complete results of the herd tests would only be known several weeks later.


Keller said that a suspect lesion on the animal was detected through routine inspection at a processing plant in Long Prairie, Minnesota, and that pathological tests at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the diagnosis of bovine TB. A trackback determined that the animal came from a livestock operation in southwestern North Dakota.

North Dakota has been officially TB-free since January 1, 1976. Under federal guidelines, that status remains in effect. The last time a North Dakota herd tested positive for the disease was in 1999 in Morton County.
Bovine TB is a chronic bacterial disease that affects primarily cattle which can be transmitted to any warm-blooded animal. In its early stages, clinical signs are not visible, making diagnosis difficult. Later symptoms may include low-grade fever, lethargy, emaciation, anorexia, pneumonia, chronic coughing and lymph node enlargement.
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