The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) is conducting cattle testing related to the diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in animals during routine inspection conducted at out-of-state slaughter establishments.

These investigations, involving several states, stem from the detection of TB in a steer at slaughter in June of 2018, a second unrelated steer found in December of 2018, and a cow in March of 2019. The purpose of the traceback investigations is to determine where an animal was infected, if possible, and to identify other potentially infected or exposed animals.

Tuberculosis testing is required in a herd when a link has been established between the herd and a positive animal through movement and/or sale records. At this time, no infected herds have been confirmed within Montana. Testing is expected to continue through the summer and into early fall of 2019.

“Slaughter surveillance is a critical component of our national TB surveillance program,” said State Veterinarian Marty Zaluski. “Subsequent follow-up herd testing is necessary to ensure we find and eliminate any potential pockets of disease to protect Montana’s livestock producers.”

Source: Montana Department of Livestock release