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USDA focuses on bovine tuberculosis

Apr 04, 2008
By dvm360.com staff

Washington - 4/4/08 - Emergency funding totalling $16.8 million has been earmarked to continue efforts to eradicate bovine tuberculosis in California, Michigan and Minnesota, announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The money will be allocated to help depopulate currently infected herds to improve prevention and enhance surveillance to better pinpoint affected bovine and the sourve of infection.

Impacting domestic animal movement and international trade, outbreaks are costly to producers and the government and continue despite heavy surveillance and measures to control the disease.

"Working cooperatively with state animal health agencies and U.S. livestock producers, we have made great strides towards eradicating tuberculosis from the nation's livestock population," says Bruce Knight, under secretary for USDA marketing and regulatory programs. "We are another step closer towards eradicating bovine tuberculosis from our nation, and this should serve as a reminder why the National Animal Identification System is so critical. By participating in NAIS, we protect our livestock and the future of American agriculture."

Contagious and infectious, bovine tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium bovis and affects cattle, bison, deer, elk and goats, among other animals. Humans can become infected through direct contact with or consumption of raw milk from diseased animals, but pasteurized milk carries no risk.