USDA announced this week that a beef herd in the northern part of Minnesota is infected with bovine tuberculosis. As a result, the 900-cow Rosseau County herd will be depopulated.

The findings came after a federal slaughter plant inspector found suspicious internal lesions last February from a 5-year-old cow during routine monitoring. Tests confirmed bovine TB, and the animal was traced back to the herd. Testing on herd mates resulted in 18 additional cases.

Officials are now attempting to trace animals that left the herd within the last seven years, as well as determine the infection’s source.

Minnesota is the fifth state in recent years to identify a positive case of bovine TB. Others include: Texas, Michigan, New Mexico and California. However, if no additional cases are found, or if any are found, but are directly related to this case, Minnesota will not lose its federal bovine TB-free status.

While this positive-case announcement is not what the state’s livestock industry wants to hear, authorities say it does show that the surveillance program is working. And that food safety protocols are working, meaning that the country’s food supply is protected from potential human health concerns.

Source: ABC News