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Old Sep 22nd 2009, 04:18 PM   #1
  Apr 2009
  Northeast Indiana
Update on Bovine Tuberculosis in Indiana

Two Sites Depopulated; Cattle Testing to Begin Soon

INDIANAPOLIS (18 September 2009)-Indiana continues to make progress in the eradication of bovine tuberculosis (T that was first identified in May on a farmed cervid (deer, elk) operation in Franklin County. Since May, the staff of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) has been working to trace the movement of all animals off of the index site, as well as identify the source of infection.

The investigation has led to contacts with more than 40 herds in 16 Indiana counties. Testing of exposed animals has been completed as operations are identified in the trace work. To date, TB-positives have been found only on three sites (one each in Franklin, Wayne and Harrison counties). Each of those has been quarantined. Currently, depopulation activities have been completed on the Franklin and Wayne County farms.

Meanwhile, BOAH has been working closely with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to do surveillance for the disease in the wild white-tailed deer population on and around the index herd in Franklin County. DNR harvested 30 deer from the area, which BOAH veterinarians examined and submitted for laboratory testing. Due to the slow-growing nature of tuberculosis, test results will not be available for several weeks.

Plans for further testing are underway.

BOAH will soon be sending letters to cattle producers with herds housed within (roughly) 3 miles of the Franklin County index site. The packets will explain the process for having each herd tested for TB. Testing will be done by approved local private veterinary practitioners, at no charge to the producer. Only cattle around the Franklin site will be tested, because laboratory testing confirmed that a TB sample linked to a Franklin County beef herd back in December 2008 is genetically identical to the organism found on the cervid farm in May. BOAH needs to determine if further disease spread has occurred within the community.

BOAH and DNR will also be doing extensive surveillance and testing of the wild white-tailed deer in all three counties during firearms season (beginning Nov. 14). The two agencies will be providing more information to the hunters and others during three upcoming public meetings. The meetings will be from 7 to 9 p.m. local time and scheduled for:

- Sept. 28, Laurel Middle School, Laurel (Franklin County)

- Sept. 29, Wayne County Fairgrounds, Richmond (Wayne County)

- Sept. 30, Corydon Middle School, Corydon (Harrison County)

Indiana's TB status for cervids has not changed. Under U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, because all three premises are linked, this remains one case. Likewise, Indiana's Free status for cattle and bison remains unaffected. USDA maintains a separate status rating for the two species groups. Only when two unrelated cases of bovine tuberculosis are identified in cattle within 48 months will a state's status change.

More information about the disease and the investigation, as it develops, will be available on the BOAH website at: < .

About Bovine TB

Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic bacterial disease that affects primarily cattle, but can be transmitted to any warm-blooded animal. TB is difficult to diagnose through clinical signs alone. In the early stages of the disease, clinical signs are not visible. Later, signs may include: emaciation, lethargy, weakness, anorexia, low-grade fever and pneumonia with a chronic, moist cough. Lymph node enlargement may also be present. Cattle owners who notice these signs in their livestock should contact their private veterinarian.
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