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Texas discovers new cattle brucellosis infected herd
Feb 02, 2011 | 628 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AUSTIN–For the first time in over five years, a cattle herd in Texas has been diagnosed with bovine brucellosis (Bangs disease). According to Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) officials, a small beef herd in South Texas (Starr County) has been determined to be infected. Brucellosis is a bacterial disease of cattle that can cause abortions, weak calves and low milk production. Humans can also catch brucellosis (undulant fever), most commonly by consuming unpasteurized milk products, or handling contaminated birthing material when assisting with difficult calving situations in infected cows.

Routine surveillance (blood testing) at a livestock market led to the discovery of the infected herd. TAHC rules require all adult sexually intact cattle to be tested negative for the disease prior to change of ownership. “This herd may have been affected for some time and not detected due to lack of sales of adult test eligible cattle,” stated Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC state epidemiologist. For that reason a full disease investigation is underway to find the possible source of infection, and to identify any exposed animals that may have left the herd. Though it has been five years since cattle brucellosis was last detected in Texas, there was on-going concern among industry and regulatory officials that infected herds might still exist. “The discovery of this herd is a reminder of the value of continued surveillance efforts, and the importance of an effective system for tracing exposed animals,” further added Dr. Schwartz.
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