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TB detected in Minnesota herd

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Feb 15, 2005
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ne alberta
cp agriculture news
Wednesday, Jul 13, 2005

Highly contagious bovine TB detected in Minnesota cattle herd;

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Bovine tuberculosis has been discovered in a cattle herd on the border with Canada - the first finding in Minnesota since 1971 - and will lead to the destruction of about 900 animals, state officials said Wednesday.
A federal inspector monitoring the slaughter of a five-year-old cow in February spotted suspicious internal lesions. Laboratory tests later confirmed the cow had TB, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

The animal was traced back to a herd in Roseau County in northern Minnesota. The U.S. Department of Agriculture bought a sample of the herd for further testing, had the animals slaughtered and found 18 cases of the disease.

On Tuesday, the USDA declared the herd infected and started the process for destroying it, said state animal board spokeswoman Malissa Fritz. She said the USDA will pay the owner, who was not identified.

Bovine TB is a highly contagious lung bacteria, spread by infected cattle coughing, bellowing and snorting in the confines of a feedlot or pasture. It is rarely passed to humans.

The state has had bovine TB eradication programs since 1917. The board said it was important for the state to maintain its federal status as a state free of bovine TB because it allows producers to export the animals without additional testing.

Bovine TB has appeared in recent years in Texas, California, New Mexico and Michigan.

"Our surveillance system worked. The disease was detected," said Dr. Bill Hartmann, a veterinarian and executive director for the animal board, in a prepared statement.

He said officials will now focus on tracing any animals that left the herd in the last seven years and determining the source of infection.

Fritz said the state would lose its TB-free designation only if another infected animal is found, and if that animal was not related to the current investigation.

The board said it was unlikely the TB would get into the supply of milk or beef because inspectors were watching for it. Also, cooking kills the bacteria, the board said in a news release.

© The Canadian Press, 2005


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