Anthrax kills cattle in No.Dakota – 08/18/2005

  • October 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm #894

    Interesting how many of these ‘conundrums’ are unprecedented.
    Someone might want to send this to Mike Salinero at the Tampa
    Tribune. He might be overwhelmed by my lengthy email.
    If one investigative reporter receives missives from many folks in a
    variety of location in the country, hmmm, maybe a light will turn on.
    Just thinking out loud here.
    Bill will know who I’m refereing to.
    Best to all
    Anthrax outbreak kills hundreds of cattle
    Nature, not terrorism, behind spread of disease in Great Plains

    Updated: 9:52 a.m. ET Aug. 18, 2005
    ENDERLIN, N.D. – An anthrax outbreak has killed hundreds of cattle
    in parts of the Great Plains, forcing quarantines and devastating
    ranchers who worry how they will recover financially.
    More than 300 animals in North Dakota have died from anthrax in what
    officials call the worst outbreak among livestock in state history.
    In South Dakota, at least 200 cattle have been killed. Two ranches
    in Texas were quarantined last month after anthrax was found in
    cattle, horses and deer, officials said.

    Allen Lambrecht lost nine cows, or about $9,000, along with the
    value of future calves.

    “It got to where you didn’t want to get up in the morning,” said
    Lambrecht, whose family has farmed in North Dakota for three
    generations. “You would get up and go out and see what was left.”
    Although anthrax didn’t gain public notoriety until the still-
    unsolved mailing attacks that left five people dead in 2001, farmers
    have been dealing with the disease for decades. Spores that cause
    anthrax can sit dormant in the ground for as long 100 years, said
    Charles Stoltenow, an extension veterinarian at North Dakota State

    Weather factors

    “It just sits there and waits for the right environmental conditions
    to come around,” he said. “You can’t predict it.”
    Unusually wet conditions in June, along with high heat and humidity
    in July, likely played a factor, veterinarians said. Some areas of
    southeastern North Dakota had more than a foot of rain in one month.
    “We’ve had anthrax before, but not of this magnitude,” said Andrew
    Peterson, a veterinarian at the Enderlin Veterinary Clinic in North
    Dakota. “It started on July 1 and the reports have been daily since

    The state has quarantined 85 areas, which means those producers
    cannot sell, butcher or transport animals.
    Martin Hugh-Jones, an anthrax expert and retired Louisiana State
    University professor, said he expects authorities from several
    states and Canadian provinces to designate counties for mandatory

    A vaccine that can prevent anthrax is available at less than $1 a
    dose, Peterson said. While it’s routine to vaccinate cows in the
    spring, when they receive other medicine, it’s difficult in the
    summer when they are grazing in open pastures, ranchers said.
    Antibiotics, usually penicillin, can “save a cow from the edge of
    the grave,” Hugh-Jones said. However, many animals die within hours
    of appearing normal.

    No danger to humans

    Humans are not considered at risk to catch the disease, as long as
    they don’t come in contact with blood and tissue of an infected

    “You’re not going to be infected unless you skin and butcher an
    animal that’s infected,” Hugh-Jones said. “As long as you’re not
    tempted to open up a carcass, you’re not in danger.”
    The current outbreak has also affected bison, horses, sheep, llamas,
    elk and deer, said Beth Carlson, the deputy state veterinarian in
    North Dakota.

    It’s likely that any deer infected with the disease already will be
    dead before the bow season starts in September, Hugh-Jones said.
    “We still want to make people aware of it,” said Greg Link,
    spokesman for the state Game and Fish Department. “People should use
    the same common sense they normally should. Don’t shoot an animal
    that’s sick, use precautions when opening up an animal, and cook
    your meat well, anyway.”

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