May 7, 2019

Wisconsin TB Herd Remains Under Quarantine

Top Story  |   |  By: Jim Dickrell

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) reports that it is continuing monthly testing of the Dane County dairy herd that was diagnosed with bovine tuberculosis (bTB) last October. It was the first case of bTB detected in the state in 20 years.

The infected herd is following a test-and-remove protocol to eradicate the disease. “The TB-affected herd and all locations where animals from the dairy are reared are under quarantine and animals can only move directly to slaughter, rendering or a restricted feedlot,” according to a DATCP news release.

Testing of the affected farm will continue on a monthly basis into 2020, and the herd will remain under quarantine until testing protocols show the herd is free of bTB. Once the quarantine is removed, the herd will be tested annually for five years to ensure the disease does not reoccur.

Since confirmation of the disease, DATCP and USDA veterinarians have conducted several hundred traces in Wisconsin and 15 other states. Currently, there are 26 premises in Wisconsin that have some type of animal movement restriction due to exposure from the affected farm, says DATCP officials.

Bovine TB is a zoonotic disease, meaning animals can infect people. But people can also be a source of infection to cattle. The disease is most commonly spread through respiratory secretions, but can also be transmitted through unpasteurized milk from infected animals.