State officials are reporting that a herd of roping cattle in Ottawa County is being closely monitored after two confirmed cases of bovine tuberculosis were identified within the herd.
The infected animals were discovered during processing, according to a news release from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. When cases of bovine TB are identified at a processing plant, the department uses a radio-frequency identification ear tag to track where the animal traveled from.
MDARD policy prevents officials from releasing the name and location of the farm where the two positive cases are originally from, but say that the infected herd may have from a herd in Franklin County, Indiana. That Indiana herd tested positive for bovine TB in 2016. According to MDARD, Indiana is one of six other states -- Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas and Michigan -- with infected herds.
Bovine tuberculosis can cause TB in people who consume contaminated unpasteurized dairy products or have direct contact with a wound, such as inhaling the bacteria during slaughtering or hunting. However, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that bovine TB is responsible for less that 2 percent of total human TB cases in the U.S. The number has been greatly reduced due by decades of disease control in cattle and routine pasteurization of dairy products.
As part of MDARD's response to the positive cases, farms within a 3-mile radius of the Ottawa County farm under investigation will remain under surveillance. Those farms must complete bovine TB testing within the next six months. Individual letters will be sent out on the matter to the farms in the surveillance zone.
A public informational meeting to discuss the Ottawa County outbreak is scheduled for March 6 at 7 p.m. at the Grandville Middle School Auditorium located at 3535 Wilson Ave. SW.
More information about bovine TB can be found on the USDA's website.
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