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Bovine TB Identified in Michigan Steer
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 03/15/2017

Bovine tuberculosis was recently confirmed in samples taken from a two-year-old steer from Newaygo County. The animal was identified as possibly diseased and removed from the human food chain by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service, which inspects each animal during processing.

Using the steer's electronic radio frequency identification, MDARD rapidly identified the farm in Newaygo County that sent the animal to slaughter.

"Every time a bovine TB-positive animal is identified, we work to find where the animal has been and where the bovine TB came from," said Rick Smith, DVM, assistant state veterinarian. "Using whole genome sequencing, we can be certain that this is not a different outbreak of bovine TB infection in another region of the state."

Whole genome sequencing, a very specific genetic test for bovine TB, conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratory, determined the bovine TB found in the Newaygo County steer is very similar to the bovine TB found in the cattle and free-ranging, white-tailed deer in northeastern Lower Michigan. The infected animal was most likely exposed to animals from northeastern Lower Michigan -- where bovine TB-infected cattle herds have historically been found.

As a part of MDARD's response, a three-mile surveillance area has been established around the affected farm in Newaygo County. Farms within this special surveillance area will have six months to complete bovine TB testing. These farms will be identified by MDARD and notified through individual letters.

An informational meeting to discuss this finding of bovine TB and the surveillance area is scheduled for March 27 at 7 p.m. at the Grant Community Center, 105 S. Front St., Grant.

More information on bovine TB can be found at www.michigan.gov/bovinetb.

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