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Bovine TB Identified in Alpena County and Montmorency County Herds

Agency: Agriculture and Rural Development

For immediate release: December 8, 2016 Media contact: Megan Sprague, 517-284-5661

LANSING–Bovine tuberculosis was recently confirmed in a large dairy herd in Alpena County and a large beef herd in Montmorency County during annual surveillance testing. These are the 67th and 68th herds identified with bovine TB in Michigan since 1998.

Both herds are located within the USDA-designated bovine TB Modified Accredited Zone, which encompasses Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties. Annual surveillance testing of herds and testing cattle before movement is required in this area to prevent the spread of disease.

An informational meeting for cattle producers in Alpena and Montmorency counties is scheduled for:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at 7 p.m. Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Atlanta Office 16860 M-32, Atlanta, Michigan 49709

Within the MAZ, bovine TB is endemic in the free-ranging white-tailed deer population, and any shared contact between deer and cattle can be a potential source of infection. MDARD, Michigan State University Extension, Alpena Conservation District, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and local producers are working together on a voluntary Enhanced Wildlife Risk Mitigation program for high risk herds in the MAZ to help cattle producers strengthen their herd’s protection against wildlife interactions and bovine TB.

With a team of disease control experts and local producers, herd owners work to further assess the potential vulnerabilities on their farm. The team provides education on bovine TB transmission, examines deer behavior on their farm, and suggests changes to the farmer, which will help them heighten their biosecurity. Additionally, MDARD has provided cost-share funding opportunities to producers for implementing some of the recommendations that may be cost prohibitive.

“This Enhanced Wildlife Risk Mitigation partnership gives these farmers access to the most knowledgeable bovine TB experts in the country, increasing their ability to prevent infection,” said Assistant State Veterinarian Rick Smith, DVM. “The importance of this program is demonstrated by the amount of time and energy donated to this effort, through these teams, by the cattle farming community in order to help their neighbors.” In 2017, community meetings will be held in these high-risk neighborhoods to discuss this effort and how farmers can work together to further reduce risk from this disease. Cattle producers located in or adjacent to Deer Management Unit 452 should contact the MDARD Atlanta Office at 989-785-5616 to start the Enhanced Wildlife Risk Mitigation process.

More information about bovine TB can be found at www.michigan.gov/bovinetb.  

 

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Distribution channels: Agriculture, Farming & Forestry