At the end of last year, State Veterinarian Suzanne Keller said two older cows from the herd that had been tested positively for disease after lesions were found in both slaughterhouses in South Dakota and Minnesota. Veterinary Laboratory in Ames, Iowa
Keller said the quarantine herd was later tested by state and federal veterinarians and five additional cows were affected.
The herd was a smaller, family herd in Sargent County, west of Watton.
Keller said that tuberculosis can be transmitted from animals to humans and humans to animals, the family went to visit their doctor.
Although there is no report on transmission, Keller says the people most likely to be at risk are the veterinary surgeons investigating the animals. People are at risk of infecting animal disease with droplets of mucus in the air. Most cases of human transmission, however, are through people who consume non-pasteurized milk or dairy products
Like the human version, bovine tuberculosis primarily affects the airways and the lungs of the animals and can be lethal. and the family is puzzled that cattle breeding has contracted tuberculosis and a strain previously not identified in the United States. The strain is closest to cattle-related cases in Mexico. operation, as no other cattle from Mexico were found in the area, the livestock was purchased privately rather than a larger scale for sales, and no Mexican employees were involved in the family business.
Keller said this is a factor too often overlooked that people can spread tuberculosis to cattle or other animals.
There are no other flocks of cattle in the Sargent district that have had direct contact.
She added that animals that have a negative result can move to slaughter, but other movements are not allowed. Bovines with the disease are placed. Meat from animals undergoing inspection is safe to consume, she said.
There is a national program for the eradication of bovine tuberculosis, a joint state-federal effort. But because of the closure of the federal government, Keller said federal funding and field staff "are currently limited in their ability to help."