TB-positive deer triggers testing of cattle in two Michigan counties

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LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has created a “Potential High Risk Area” around a Cheboygan County deer taken during the 2010 hunting season.

The free-ranging white-tailed deer was recently confirmed to be bovine Tuberculosis (TB) positive. As a result, any cattle, bison, and cervid farms within a 10-mile radius around where the deer was harvested must complete testing for bovine TB in the next six months.

The 10-mile circle falls within both Cheboygan and Presque Isle counties. In addition, a second 10-mile circle includes six farms on the border between Iosco and Ogemaw counties. Those farms will also have to be tested because a free-ranging white-tailed deer was taken in Alcona County during the 2010 season and found bovine TB positive.

Routine

“This is a routine practice when a white-tailed deer is determined to be bovine TB positive and is not cause for concern,” said MDARD’s State Veterinarian Dr. Steven Halstead.

“We want to confirm the disease has not spread to cattle in these areas, so we conduct surveillance testing.”

the department will be contacting producers to schedule whole-herd bovine TB tests when calving is over and before the animals go out on spring pasture.

In 2010, the state had three 10-mile radius surveillance circles. Surveillance testing is complete and the orders for a Potential High Risk Area designation in Cheboygan County and the two Special Surveillance Areas established in Emmet County have been lifted.

Trying to change status

Since the bovine TB eradication effort began, the state’s 1 million cattle have been tested for the disease. MDARD has submitted a request to move 57 counties in the Lower Peninsula to TB-Free Status and to shrink the Modified Accredited Zone to areas with the highest risk of bovine TB in cattle.

To date, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has tested more than 188,000 free-ranging white-tailed deer, with 687 testing positive for bovine TB. Strategies adopted by the DNR to reduce bovine TB in free-ranging white-tailed deer have reduced the prevalence rate of the disease from the high in 1995 of 4.9 percent to 1.8 percent in Deer Management Unit 452 for 2010.

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