Bovine TB identified in Alpena County and Montmorency County, Mich.
These are the 67th and 68th herds identified with bovine TB in Michigan since 1998.
Both herds are located within the USDA-designated bovine TB Modified Accredited Zone, which encompasses Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties.
Annual surveillance testing of herds and testing cattle before movement is required in this area to prevent the spread of disease.
Within the MAZ, bovine TB is endemic in the free-ranging white-tailed deer population, and any shared contact between deer and cattle can be a potential source of infection.
MDARD, Michigan State University Extension, Alpena Conservation District, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and local producers are working together on a voluntary Enhanced Wildlife Risk Mitigation program for high risk herds in the MAZ to help cattle producers strengthen their herd’s protection against wildlife interactions and bovine TB.
With a team of disease control experts and local producers, herd owners work to further assess the potential vulnerabilities on their farm. The team provides education on bovine TB transmission, examines deer behavior on their farm, and suggests changes to the farmer, which will help them heighten their biosecurity.
Additionally, MDARD has provided cost-share funding opportunities to producers for implementing some of the recommendations that may be cost prohibitive. ■