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Old May 15th 2009, 03:34 PM   #1
 Russell's Avatar
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  Mar 2009
  Edmonton, Alberta CANADA

Cervid: Western Canadian white-tailed deer
INDIANAPOLIS (15 May 2009)—The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) is investigating a case of bovine tuberculosis (commonly called “TB,” or more formally known as Mycobacterium bovis) in a farm-raised cervid herd in Southeastern Indiana. “Cervid” is a category of animals that includes elk and various species of deer.



A BOAH veterinarian found the TB infection in a red deer being processed for meat. A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) laboratory test confirmed the disease.



The animals in the cervid herd, which include elk, red deer, fallow deer and Sika deer, are part of an on-going targeted surveillance program. The farm sits in close geographic proximity to a beef cattle herd that was traced to a TB-positive cow in December 2008.



“Since December, BOAH has been working to determine if this disease is present in that region,” explains Indiana State Veterinarian Bret D. Marsh. “In addition to two whole-herd tests on the initial beef farm, we have tested animals at all adjacent properties. All have yielded negative results.”



With this new finding, BOAH is collaborating with state, federal and industry partners to determine a course of action. More information will be released as it becomes available.



Indiana has held a bovine tuberculosis-free status since 1984 with the USDA. Under federal guidelines, a TB-positive cervid does not affect the status for cattle producers. Before the December 2008 case, the last time a Hoosier herd tested positive for the disease was in the 1970s.





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.



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



Denise Derrer

Public Information Director

Indiana State Board of Animal Health
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