In October 2018, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection confirmed Wisconsin’s first bovine tuberculosis case in more than 20 years for a Dane County dairy herd.

The Dane County herd continues to be the only TB-affected herd in Wisconsin and is following a test-and-remove protocol to eradicate the disease. The TB-affected herd and all locations where animals from the dairy are reared are under quarantine and animals can only move directly to slaughter, rendering or a restricted feedlot.

Bovine TB is a zoonotic disease, meaning animals can infect people but people may also be a source of infection to cattle herds. The disease is most commonly transmitted through respiratory secretions and following close contact with infected animals that are shedding the bacteria. Infection may also be transmitted through unpasteurized milk of infected animals.

DATCP, in collaboration with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Veterinary Services, will continue testing the herd approximately every other month into the year 2020, and the herd will remain under quarantine until testing protocols are completed that show the disease is eliminated from the herd. Once the quarantine is removed, DATCP will test the herd annually for five years to assure there is no disease recurrence.

Trace investigations progress

DATCP’s Division of Animal Health and USDA’s APHIS VS staff continue to conduct trace investigations of sales from the affected herd. Since the confirmation of a TB-affected herd, there have been several hundred traces located in Wisconsin and 15 other states.

There are currently 26 Wisconsin premises that have some type of animal movement restriction due to exposure from the affected farm. The investigations identify animals that were in contact with the TB-affected herd; any feeder animals are limited to move to slaughter and breeding animals must be tested.

DATCP will continue testing and investigating traces from the Dane County herd. Producers are encouraged to learn more about bTB and work with their veterinarian to assess disease risks and develop plans to reduce the risks of disease introduction into their herd.

More information about the bTB investigation and resources are available at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/TBInvestigation.aspx.