Bovine tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium known as Mycobacterium Bovis. Experts warn that this bacterium is dangerous not only for cattle; but also for humans, pigs, cats, dogs, deer, and other mammals. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes the human form of tuberculosis. Most infections occur through inhalation or ingestion of the responsible bacterium.
Montana state vet confirms case of bovine tuberculosis
The first case of bovine tuberculosis in more than 50 years was traced back to a processing plant in Minnesota. According to recent articles, only one cow has the infection, and the identification tag traced it to Blaine Country. Although bovine tuberculosis was surging in the 30s, at present, there are very few cases. This is why milk is pasteurized, and meat goes through careful inspections before delivering it to food supply chains.
What will happen with the herd in Montana?
The herd owner can decide between sending the herd to slaughter and receiving compensation or quarantining it for a year. It remains unclear how just a single cow from the herd got infected. The news mention that the U.S Department of Agriculture decided to do genome sequencing to find out if there are other cases with the same bovine tuberculosis strain. The closes one found from the analysis was from a bovine tuberculosis case back in 2006 in Mexico.
The rancher and his business might be in danger
Even though only one animal got infected, the news is awful for the rancher and his business. If he decides to slaughter the whole herd, the indemnity he would receive will not cover the entire amount he spent purchasing and raising the cattle. The good news is that there are not many cases in the U.S and that by pasteurizing milk and cooking the meat before consumption, humans do not face the danger of infection.