TB Found In Michigan Herd

US - Routine bovine Tuberculosis (BTB) surveillance testing conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) has found a bTB positive herd in Emmet County in Northern Lower Michigan's Modified Accredited Advanced Zone (MAAZ).
calendar icon 26 March 2010
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Following this, all cattle herds in a 10-mile radious will be tested within six months.

"If we test all the cattle herds within a 10-mile radius circle around the positive herd, and they are negative, the status of the MAAZ will not be impacted, as there would have to be at least three positive cattle herds in the zone in a year, for the status to drop," said Dr James Averill, MDA's bovine TB project coordinator. "There are 67 farms that will be contacted and informed of the need to test for bovine TB."

An informational meeting for Emmet County producers is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21 from 7-9 pm at the West Traverse Township Hall, 8001 M-119, Harbor Springs.

On January 4 2010, MDA in coordination with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), expanded the MAAZ to include Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, and Otsego counties. Michigan rules divided the MAAZ into subzones, which are areas with decreasing prevalence of bovine TB in both cattle and wildlife.

Emmet County is in Subzone 1 of the MAAZ. In this Subzone, cattle producers test their herd every one, two, or three years, depending upon the type of cattle they sell.

"All cattle and bison farms within the 10-mile circle of the positive herd will be tested within the next six months and then revert back to their normal testing schedule if they all come up negative," said Dr Averill. "This testing will protect all Michigan cattlemen from the small chance of buying TB infected cattle. The ultimate goal is to return bovine TB Free status to the entire state - and we want to do everything we can to ensure we reach that goal."

Although testing is an effective way to prevent bovine TB from spreading to other herds, there is a continued presence of TB in the wild white tailed deer population in Northern Lower Michigan. To reduce the risk of a herd getting infected from surrounding deer, producers can put practices in place and become verified in the Wildlife Risk Mitigation program. Cattle farmers in Subzone 1 who obtain this status are at lower risk, and can move cattle more freely than those who do not.

While infection can occur by nose-to-nose direct contact, infection is much more likely to occur when cattle feed is contaminated by infected deer. Beef and dairy farmers can decrease the risk of exposing their cattle to bovine TB by limiting cattle-to-deer contact and protecting cattle feed from deer with wildlife risk mitigation tools.

MDA's Director Don Koivisto signed an updated Zoning Order on March 23, 2010, clarifying the testing requirements for Michigan cattle from farms in the MAAZ Subzone 1 or the MAZ that move without wildlife risk mitigation plans. For complete details, go to the Emerging Diseases website: www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.

The Emmet County herd the second TB positive herd identified in Michigan in 2010. A beef herd in Alcona County, which is in the MAZ, was found to be infected with bovine TB in early March.

Since the bovine TB eradication effort began, all of Michigan's one million cattle have been tested for the disease. Since 1998, MDA and USDA have detected 48 cattle herds and five privately owned cervid operations in Michigan's MAZ with bovine TB positive animals on the premises - either the premises have been depopulated or the herd was quarantined and placed under a test-and-remove programme.

To date, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) has tested more than 184,120 wild white-tailed deer, with 668 testing positive for bovine TB. Strategies adopted by the DNRE to reduce bovine TB in the wild white-tailed deer have reduced the prevalence rate of the disease from the high in 1995 of 4.9 percent to 1.9 percent in 2009. The disease prevalence in wild white-tailed deer has flattened in the last few years, and the risk of bovine TB positive deer infecting cattle persists.

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