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Local meetings scheduled after Alcona beef herd tests positive for TB

Submitted by Phil Heimerl on October 10, 2018 – 12:56 amNo Comment

Two community meetings have been scheduled on the heels of the recent discovery of bovine tuberculosis in a large beef herd in Alcona County.

It’s the first herd in Michigan to test positive for the disease in 2018, and the 20th herd in Alcona County to be confirmed positive since testing began in 1998.

The herd was confirmed TB positive following routine surveillance testing.

Bovine TB is an infectious bacterial disease primarily affecting cattle. It is endemic in the free-ranging white-tailed deer population in Michigan’s modified accredited zone, a USDA designation for Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties.

Annual surveillance and movement testing are required of cattle producers in the area, which helps catch the disease early and prevents it from being moved off the farm.

“In the modified accredited zone, anything shared by deer and cattle can be a potential source of bovine tuberculosis infection,” said Nancy Barr, Michigan’s Assistant State Veterinarian. “Preventing deer from having contact with cattle feed, feed storage or watering areas is crucial for farmers in this area of Michigan and a part of wildlife biosecurity programs being implemented.”

The latest case of bovine TB will be discussed at two meetings – at Elmer Township Hall in Mio on Monday, October 29; and at Hillman Community Center in Hillman on Thursday, November 1.  Both meetings start at 7 p.m.

The Alcona County herd is the 73rd cattle herd to test positive for bovine TB in Michigan since 1998.

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