Anthrax Flares Continue

Livestock anthrax cases are dispersed over Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and southern Manitoba, Canada. North Dakota is having a record year, with more than 300 cases since early July.

Minnesota has reported five anthrax premises in three counties since mid-July, with 21 animals dead as of Aug. 26. No horses were lost due to the disease.

On Aug. 24, Beth Carlson, DVM, deputy state veterinarian for the North Dakota State Board of Animal Health, said, "We have quarantined 96 premises because of anthrax. Nine had horse fatalities and one had a donkey die." Cattle, bison, sheep, farmed elk, farmed deer, and a llama have also been affected in the current outbreak. Two North Dakota premises have been released from quarantine.

"We are seeing fewer new cases reported, but cases are still occurring," Carlson added. She recommended vaccination in all 14 affected counties and their bordering counties.

South Dakota's anthrax cases began in mid-July. As of Aug. 25, anthrax had been reported on 49 premises in 16 counties.

In addition, at least four cattle herds in south central Manitoba, Canada, have reported anthrax.

A wet spring in affected areas could have caused dormant anthrax spores (Bacillus anthracis) to wash up into areas where vegetation is growing. There it could be ingested by animals that are foraging.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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