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Published August 24, 2010, 11:10 AM

Northeastern ND county reports anthrax cases

BISMARCK, N.D. – Confirmation of anthrax as the cause of death of two Pembina County beef cattle last week has prompted state animal health officials to renew their call for livestock producers to have their animals vaccinated against the disease.

BISMARCK, N.D. – Confirmation of anthrax as the cause of death of two Pembina County beef cattle last week has prompted state animal health officials to renew their call for livestock producers to have their animals vaccinated against the disease.

“The two animals – one bull and one cow – came from a single pasture,” Dr. Susan Keller, the state veterinarian, said Monday. “Two more cows in the same pasture died later in the week, likely from anthrax.”

The animals’ owner found two cattle dead in the pasture and called a local veterinarian, Dr. Ben Stegman, Cavalier, who suspected anthrax and took samples for testing. The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at North Dakota State University confirmed the diagnosis.

The remaining cattle in the pasture have been vaccinated, treated with antibiotics and quarantined. After a booster vaccination and if no further deaths occur, they will be released from quarantine in 30 days.

Keller said an effective anthrax vaccine is readily available, but takes about a week to establish immunity and must be followed with annual boosters. She said conditions are ideal for anthrax in many parts of the state.

An anthrax factsheet and maps are available on the North Dakota Department of Agriculture website, www.agdepartment.com. Click on “Hot Topics.”

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