Ann Arbor, Mi. — Bovine tuberculosis was recently confirmed in a large beef herd in Alcona County. This herd, which is the 73rd cattle herd 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. 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.”