The Colorado Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating a case of bovine tuberculosis (TB) out of Douglas County.
'CDA is taking quick action to ensure this disease does not spread,' said Colorado State Veterinarian John Maulsby. 'This is unfortunate but I am confident that our veterinarians and animal health officials will be able to effectively deal with this.'
The bull was sold from its Colorado owner to a meat packing plant in San Angelo, Texas. During routine inspection of the carcass, lesions were discovered in the lungs of the bull. The meat was isolated from the processing line, and no parts of the animal entered the food chain.
CDA is working closely with USDA and state veterinarians of other states to determine the scope of the trace-back process and to begin identifying herds for possible testing. To prevent possible spread of the disease, five herds have been quarantined comprising of approximately 660 cattle.
Bovine tuberculosis is a zoonotic pathogen that causes lesions in the thoracic and abdominal cavity of infected animals. It is spread primarily by respiratory aerosols being exhaled or coughed out by infected animals and can then inhaled by animals or humans. Although rare, it can infect humans and CDA is working closely with the Colorado Department of Public Health to ensure human safety.
Colorado has been a 'TB Accredited Free State' since 1974; this case will not cause Colorado to lose its accreditation unless another infected animal is discovered at a different location. At that point, Colorado farmers and ranchers will be required to meet a series of federal and state testing requirements when shipping cattle to another state.
Source: Bio-Bio Technology