Officials with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) are investigating a possible case of bovine tuberculosis in one of the state’s dairy cows. If confirmed, it would be the first case of bovine TB since 1988.
According to the WSDA news release, the cow at the center of the case had been sent to a slaughter facility in Cowlitz County earlier this month.
A food safety inspector at the facility isolated the meat after identifying a suspicious lesion and submitted a sample for further testing at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa.
The lab has since reported the sample consistent with bovine TB.
Officials reiterate that the meat has been destroyed and at no point entered food channels.
“The good news is that the safety systems in place were effective in identifying this problem and preventing it from spreading,” WSDA Director Dan Newhouse said in the news release. “Now, our inspectors will work with our federal, state and agricultural partners to trace this to its source and determine whether any other cows were infected.”
Officials will continue to investigate the incident.