Canada's second anthrax outbreak has claimed the lives of at least 234 cattle and other livestock in the Canadian Prairies.
Anthrax is caused by a spore-forming bacterium, shed by an infected animal that had become exposed in soil following flooding or high temperatures. It is often a fatal disease in cattle. In rare situations it can be transmitted to humans.
The provincial government has reported that the latest outbreak has killed 24 cattle and one horse from four different herds in southeastern Manitoba'
According to Wayne Lees, Manitoba's chief veterinarian, 'This is not a surprising issue, considering anthrax outbreaks do occur from time to time, and recently there have been several cases confirmed in Saskatchewan and Minnesota.'
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has said that four farms have been quarantined and the affected animals did not enter the food chain.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health in the US has reported that Minnesota which borders Manitoba to the south has had 68 cattle and other livestock dead due to anthrax since mid-June.
Saskatchewan that borders Manitoba to the west reported its first anthrax outbreak in late June. According to the CFIA 209 cattle and other livestock have died there from anthrax.
The federal food safety agency have placed farms under 21-day quarantines and on Thursday stated that 48 farms remained under quarantine as positive premises. So far about 8,500 animals are estimated to have been vaccinated and both outbreaks were considered under control.