ANTHRAX, LIVESTOCK – USA: (SOUTH DAKOTA) ALERT
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases <http://www.isid.org>
Date: Wed 9 May 2012
Source: TriState Neighbor
South Dakota cattle producers are encouraged to include anthrax vaccine in their vaccination program when they turn cattle out to summer pastures this spring , said Dr Russ Daly, SDSU [South Dakota State University] Extension veterinarian, and Dr Dustin Oedekoven, South Dakota state veterinarian. “Anthrax is a disease of cattle and other ruminants that results in sudden death in affected animals. It is also a potential human pathogen,” said Daly, who also serves as the state public health veterinarian.
While the anthrax risk has been well documented in many parts of South Dakota and anthrax vaccination of cattle is routine in those areas, it is not always possible to predict where cases might occur. For this reason, Daly is encouraging South Dakota producers to use anthrax vaccine in their herds going to summer pastures.
Daly said flooding is an environmental factor that might aid in making the anthrax spores available to cattle. Cattle going onto pastures that have experienced flooding or into areas where anthrax has been documented should especially be candidates for vaccine. “Flooding disrupts the soil, washing up anthrax spores from lower soil levels.
These spores then may be deposited on grass or other forage for the cows to eat after the pasture dries up and warm temperatures occur,”he said. He said 2011 flooding might increase the risk of cattle coming in contact with anthrax this season. “The flooding experienced by many South Dakota rivers in 2011 created the possibility that anthrax spores that have been hidden for many years may now be made more available to cattle now able to graze those previously flooded areas,” Daly said.
During the summer, producers should take the time to check all cattle frequently, Oedekoven said. “Cattle producers need to promptly investigate any unexpected deaths on pasture, whether in cows, bulls, or calves,” Oedekoven said. “With anthrax and many other diseases, treatments and preventive measures are available, and prompt action can help prevent excessive losses.” If a producer suspects anthrax, Oedekoven said, the case should be reported immediately to local veterinarians or to the state veterinarian at 605-773-3321. “Local veterinarians are excellent sources of information for cattle producers regarding anthrax,” Oedekoven said.
For more information on anthrax, contact the South Dakota Animal Industry Board, SDSU Veterinary Extension and livestock field specialists. View the Links section of iGrow Beef at <http://igrow.org/livestock/beef/> to access the SDSU Veterinary Extension website and the South Dakota Animal Industry Board’s anthrax pamphlet.–