Alberta bovine tuberculosis related to a strain in central America

At the regular Agriculture Service Board (ASB) meeting this past Wednesday, Nov. 30, concerns were brought up regarding the bovine...

At the regular Agriculture Service Board (ASB) meeting this past Wednesday, Nov. 30, concerns were brought up regarding the bovine tuberculosis that has been affecting cattle in some parts of Alberta.

Speaking to this issue, Quinton Beaumont, director of Agricultural Services said, “Tuberculosis is always mutating a little bit so you’ll never find the exact same strain, but the one that has been found is closely related to a strain in central Mexico in 1995.”

According to Beaumont, as of Friday, Dec. 2, there are 22,000 head of cattle quarantined, in different locations in south-eastern Alberta.

“There are concerns regarding the possible tuberculosis transfer between the elk and cattle in the Suffield area, but this concern is extremely low risk,” said Beaumont. “To placate fears of those concerned, there is testing being conducted on elk in the Suffield area, with roughly 25 per cent of the elk being harvested from the base.”

As of Thursday, Dec. 1, there have been 726 elk harvested from Suffield, roughly half bulls, and half cows.

“Prior to the elk brought in from the Elk Island park, they were tested for TB, and there has been no positive indicators from the area,” said Beaumont. (351 surveyed in 2015 with xx positives).

Clubroot concernsFive new fields were found lab positive in the County of Stettler in 2016.

“We surveyed 378 fields this year, the most surveyed since we have started this program in 2008,” said Beaumont. “Every year, we increase the number of fields that are inspected. We had the moisture, which is favourable for clubroot, but we didn’t have the heat this year – I believe that had a positive impact on our findings – or lack of findings.”

The county is also reminding all residents that there are still crops in swathes and standing, and one should respect producers and ask before entering any land with snowmobiles or ATVs.

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