Livestock officials confirm case of bovine tuberculosis

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) has been confirmed in a Montana beef herd for the first time in decades. The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) confirmed TB in a Blaine County herd following detection of the disease in a cow at slaughter. The infected cow was identified by meat inspectors during routine inspection at a Minnesota plant. Identification collected from the infected cow at the time of slaughter linked the animal to a Blaine County beef herd and subsequent herd testing revealed additional TB infected animals. The herd has been placed under quarantine.

Finding bovine TB in the Blaine County herd triggers a full epidemiological investigation to evaluate the extent of disease and to mitigate further spread. This effort includes the testing of adjacent herds and herds that have shipped animals into or received animals from the source herd.

lthough TB is a zoonotic disease capable of infecting people, it is not a food safety threat thanks to a robust meat inspection program and the pasteurization of milk for retail sale. Consumption of infected raw (unpasteurized) milk however, is a documented route of transmission to people.

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