Bovine tuberculosis confirmed in West River herd
Bovine tuberculosis has been confirmed in a South Dakota cattle herd for the first time since 2017, according to state’s Animal Industry Board.
An infected beef cow was first identified in January by meat inspectors at a Minnesota packing plant during routine inspection, state veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven said in a news release. Records linked the cow to a Corson County herd, where additional animals were found to be infected.
According to the South Dakota State University Extension office, cattle rarely show symptoms of the chronic respiratory disease. When symptoms are present, they’re often vague and can include weight loss, depression and sluggishness.
The progressive disease may only be transmitted to other animals when in close proximity for prolonged periods of time. Bovine tuberculosis is not currently a threat to food safety or human health, thanks to milk pasteurization and comprehensive meat inspection programs, according to Oedekoven.
The state veterinarian’s office is working closely with the herd owner and other producers in the Corson County area, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal officials, area veterinarians and wildlife officials to mitigate further spread of the disease.
South Dakota has been categorized as a bovine tuberculosis-free state by the USDA since 1982, meaning that the state has not had more than one herd infected within a four-year period, according to Oedekoven.