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Ottawa County herd tests positive for bovine tuberculosis

A herd of cattle in Ottawa County have tested positive for bovine tuberculosis after an investigation found two bovine TB positive cattle at a processing facility.

A herd of cattle in Ottawa County have tested positive for bovine tuberculosis after an investigation found two bovine TB positive cattle at a processing facility.

The roping cattle herd in Ottawa County originated from an infected herd in Indiana that tested for positive for TB in December of 2016.

Michigan now becomes one of six states -- along with Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas and Indiana -- with infected herds.

“Every time a bovine tuberculosis animal is identified at a processing plant, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development work to track where the animal has traveled,” Jarold Goodrich, DVM, acting assistant state veterinarian, said in a press release. “In Michigan, all cattle moving off any farm or property must have a radio-frequency identification ear tag that begins with 840 to ensure animals can be traced during a disease emergency. Additionally, there are identification and health certificate requirements for cattle moving to Michigan farms from other states.”

According to a press release from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the TB found in both cattle and white-tailed deer in northeaster Michigan's lower peninsula is unique and can be identified as wholly separate from other state's TB cases. The state was able to confirm the TB tested in the Ottawa County cattle was similar to that found in the Indiana cattle due to a process called "whole genome sequencing," a specific test that can identify the DNA of the specific TB bacteria.

As a precautionary measure, MDARD has enacted a three-mile surveillance area around the infected farm. FArms within the area now have six months to test their herds for tuberculosis strains.

A meeting to discuss the newfound infection in Michigan will be held on Tuesday, March 6 at Grandville Public Middle School located at 3535 Wilson Ave. in Grandville, Michigan.

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