No new cases of Bovine Tuberculosis have been identified in Alberta or Saskatchewan. The investigation is still in progress, and no primary source of the disease has been identified.
The current stage of the investigation is wrapping up, where the cattle who left the index herd have been tested. The delay in this stage came from some operations still needing to finish calving. The next step will be testing all the cattle who entered the index herd. Ranchers will be contacted in the next month to set up a testing date for the fall.
Karin Schmid, Beef Production Specialist with Alberta Beef Producers, says the unfortunate part about TB is you can't spot the physical symptoms until the disease has advanced.
"Really the way that we find it is on slaughter surveillance. I think it's important to recognize and implement some basic bio security measures on your operation, and try and minimize the contact of your animals with other animals where possible."
Not all quarantined herds must be cleaned and disinfected, unless the disease has been identified at the operation. Cleaning procedures include scrapping out manure where it is in large amounts, and steaming or flaming holding facilities.
Schmid adds, "It's primarily spread through nose to nose contact, or potentially extended contact with other bodily fluids. It really needs close contact over an extended period of time."
Alberta Beef Producers has been working closely with these ranchers to support them during this time. AFSC is managing funding to cover unexpected expenses due to quarantine, including wintering calves.
There are still several stages to under go before the investigation is complete.