Last week, the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development announced that a cow tested positive for bovine tuberculosis (TB) in Emmet County, Mich., outside of the state's modified accredited zone for bovine TB.
At a meeting of the Michigan Commission of Agriculture & Rural Development, state veterinarian Nora Wineland said, "Movement investigations from the recently identified bovine TB-positive herd in Presque Isle County led to the finding of an additional infected herd in Emmet County. An animal had been moved from the Presque Isle County herd to the Emmet County herd prior to it being designated as infected. As a part of the investigation in Presque Isle County, this animal was removed for testing from the Emmet County herd and was confirmed positive for bovine TB by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories on May 14, 2019.
"The Emmet County herd will be undergoing whole-herd testing. The ability to quickly identify and track movements of animals out of infected herds helps ensure the prevention of disease spread," Wineland said.
Wineland noted that the "source of the Presque Isle County herd’s infection is still under investigation, and DNA results are pending. DNA testing, also known as whole genome sequencing, allows for a more accurate picture of the possible source of the infection. The DNA from the Emmet County animal will also be analyzed to determine if it matches the Presque Isle County herd. Once DNA testing results have been received, informational meetings will be scheduled for both Presque Isle County and Emmet County producers."
Bovine TB is a bacterial disease primarily affecting cattle; however, it can be spread among wildlife populations and other mammals, including humans. Michigan has been working to eradicate bovine TB since 1994, when a whitetail deer in Alpena County, Mich., was found positive. The Emmet County herd is Michigan’s 76th cattle herd to be identified with bovine TB.
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