The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has announced that bovine tuberculosis has been confirmed in a large beef herd in Alcona County.
This herd, the 73rd to be identified with bovine TB in Michigan since 1998, was identified through 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.
According to a state of Michigan website on Michigan Emerging Disease Issues, a total of 5,172 white-tailed deer have been tested statewide, thus far in 2018 as part of Michigan’s TB Surveillance Plan. Within northeastern Michigan’s Modified Accredited Zone, a total of 860 white-tailed deer have been tested, with four reported as TB-positive – two in Alpena County and one each in Montmorency and Oscoda Counties.
Annual surveillance and movement testing are required of cattle producers, 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 Michigan’s Assistant State Veterinarian Nancy Barr, DVM. “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.”
Local producers and concerned citizens can learn more about this latest development at two informational meetings:
Monday, October 29, 2018, at 7 p.m., Elmer Township Hall, 863 W. Kittle Rd., Mio, MI 48647; and on Thursday, November 1, 2018, at 7 p.m., Hillman Community Center, 24220 Veterans Memorial Hwy, Hillman, MI 49746
More information on bovine TB can be found at www.michigan.gov/bovinetb.