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Vets urge livestock vaccinations in flood zone - (article)

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Posted by GoatWorld on June 27, 2002 at 20:28:37:

Vets urge livestock vaccinations in flood zone
Joy Powell
Star Tribune

Published Jun 26, 2002
State veterinarians are urging farmers in flooded parts of northwest Minnesota to vaccinate livestock against anthrax.

Anthrax spores from animals that have died of the disease can remain in the soil for decades and be released by heavy rains and flooding, which can wash the spores to the surface.

Experts say it's unlikely humans will develop anthrax from naturally occurring bacteria. The last such case recorded in humans was in 1953 and was not fatal.

Last year, the worst outbreak of anthrax in Minnesota since 1938 killed nearly 100 head of cattle in Kittson, Roseau, Marshall and Polk counties. Those counties have been flooded again along with nine others in storms since June 9.

Veterinarians say cattle, horses, sheep and goats can contract anthrax spores by breathing or eating them as they graze.

The vaccinations generally cost less than $2 an animal, veterinarians said.

The Minnesota Board of Health has modified rules to allow farmers to vaccinate their livestock after getting prescriptions from veterinarians. Previously, farmers were required to hire veterinarians to give the shots, which increased costs.

Paying $2 per vaccination is "cheap insurance" for an animal that is worth more than $1,000, said state veterinarian Bill Hartmann.

Officials predict that northwestern Minnesota farmers will spend significantly more this year to prevent and treat other flood-related livestock diseases.

-- For more information, contact the Board of Animal Health at 651-296-2942.


-- Joy Powell is at jpowell@startribune.com .




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