Deaths of cattle found to be from anthrax
Anthrax is responsible for the deaths of cattle in two different counties in South Dakota.
According to the state veterinarian, Dustin Oedekoven, Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, eight cows died from a herd of 87 unvaccinated cattle in Clark County. The Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at SDSU confirmed the disease from samples submitted over the weekend.
Four adult cattle in Bon Homme County also died of Anthrax over the weekend.
Anthrax sporses survive indefinitely in contaminated alkaline soils and nearly all areas of South Dakota have the potential of experiencing an outbreak under climatic conditions. Significant climate changes such as drought, floods and wind can expose anthrax spores to grazing livestock.
Anthrax is an economically devastating disease for the livestock industry because it can cause the rapid loss of a large number of animals in a short time. Affected livestock are often found dead with no illness detected.
Strict enforcement of quarantines and proper burning and burying of carcasses suspected to have died from anthrax is important to prevent further soil contamination with the bacterial spores.
Livestock producers are advised that anthrax should be suspected in cases of sudden death loss. Affected animals are often found dead with no prior illness detected. Suspicious cases should be reported immediately to a local veterinarian or to the state veterinarian at the South Dakota Animal Industry Board. Anthrax is transmissible to people and other animals. Precaution and veterinarian guidance should be taken in handling, moving or disturbing carcasses that are suspected to have died of anthrax.
An effective vaccine is available to protect livesock from anthrax, and producers across the state should consult their veterinarians regarding appropriate vaccinations protocols. –South Dakota Animal Industry Board