Staff of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) is investigating a case of bovine tuberculosis (commonly called “TB,” or more formally known as Mycobacterium bovis) in a beef cattle herd in Southeastern Indiana. The TB-positive cattle were identified through routine inspection at a meat processing facility in Pennsylvania.

BOAH veterinarians are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation of the Indiana herd from which the animals were shipped. In follow up to the initial positive report, the infected herd will be depopulated. Six beef steers were condemned at slaughter last week after exhibiting signs of TB. M. bovis was confirmed by the US Department of Agriculture laboratory in Ames, IA over the weekend.

BOAH staff is working closely with the herd owner to trace any movements of animals into and out of the herd. As information develops, BOAH will notify herd owners and others who may be impacted by the investigation.

Indiana has officially held a bovine tuberculosis-free status since 1984 with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Under federal guidelines, that status remains. BOAH has found individual cases of TB in a cattle herd and a cervid farm in this region of the state between 2008 and 2011.

BOAH is also coordinating efforts with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to determine if the disease is present in the wildlife population. BOAH and DNR have worked together on surveillance of hunter-harvested white-tailed deer in Franklin and surrounding counties since 2009. Of 430 wild white-tailed deer examined, none were found infected.

About Bovine TB

Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic bacterial disease that affects primarily cattle, but can be transmitted to any warm-blooded animal. TB is difficult to diagnose through clinical signs alone. In the early stages of the disease, clinical signs are not visible. Later, signs may include:  emaciation, lethargy, weakness, anorexia, low-grade fever and pneumonia with a chronic, moist cough. Lymph node enlargement may also be present. Cattle owners who notice these signs in their livestock should contact their private veterinarian.

More information about the disease and the investigation, as it develops, will be available on the BOAH website at:  www.boah.in.gov.