Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) has identified bovine tuberculosis (commonly called “TB,” or more formally known as Mycobacterium bovis) in a beef cattle herd in Southeastern Indiana. The disease was found in a cow that had under gone routine testing during slaughter at a meat processing facility in Michigan.
BOAH veterinarians are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation of the herd, including tracing the sources of the TB-positive cows, as well as any animals that have been sold from the herd. As information develops, BOAH will be notifying herd owners and others who may be impacted by the investigation. BOAH is also coordinating efforts with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to determine if the disease is present in free-ranging deer in the area.
Indiana has held a bovine tuberculosis-free status since 1984 with the USDA. Under federal guidelines, that status remains. The last time a Hoosier cattle herd tested positive for the disease was in the 1970s. In 2009, a cervid herd tested positive for TB, and was ultimately depopoulated.
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 Web site at: www.boah.in.gov.