Bovine Tuberculosis Found in Michigan for 73rd Time in 20 Years

A Michigan cattle herd in Alcona County has been confirmed to have bovine tuberculosis. ( Michigan State University )

For the 73rd time since 1998 a cattle herd in Michigan has been identified as having bovine tuberculosis (TB).

A large beef cattle herd in Alcona County was confirmed to have bovine TB by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on Oct. 9. The cattle herd was identified through routine surveillance testing.

Michigan has had a number of bovine TB cases and much of it is due to wild white-tailed deer carrying the disease through the state’s modified accredited zone, a USDA designation for Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties. Within this zone annual surveillance and movement testing is required for cattle producers. This helps find the disease early and prevents it from being moved off the farm via cattle.

“In the modified accredited zone, anything shared by deer and cattle can be a potential source of bovine tuberculosis infection,” says Michigan’s Assistant State Veterinarian Nancy Barr. “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.”

Thus far in 2018, there have been four white-tailed deer that have tested positive for bovine TB out of 860 deer tested. None of those deer were in Alcona County. However, all four were located in modified accredited zone counties. Two deer were in Alpena County, one was in Montmorency County and one was in Oscoda County. 

A pair of meetings will be held within Michigan’s modified accredited zone at the following locations and times:

Monday, October 29, 2018, at 7 p.m.
Elmer Township Hall
863 W. Kittle Rd., Mio, MI 48647

Thursday, November 1, 2018, at 7 p.m.
Hillman Community Center
24220 Veterans Memorial Hwy, Hillman, MI 49746

More information on bovine TB can be found at https://www.michigan.gov/bovinetb.

A map showing Michigan’s modified accredited zone and the surveillance area for white-tailed deer can be found below:

2018 tb surveillance plan map 616252 7

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