May 15, 2007


 New Mexico, Colorado each report one tuberculosis case

Posted May 1, 2007

New Mexico and Colorado each recently reported one confirmed case of bovine tuberculosis.

A confirmed case of tuberculosis in southeast Eddy County was reported in March by the Department of Agriculture and New Mexico Livestock Board. The dairy cow was discovered to be infected during routine testing.

"This dairy is under quarantine, and movement off the dairy is under strict control," said Dr. Dave Fly, state veterinarian.

An investigation was being conducted by the board and the USDA, Dr. Fly said. The last case of tuberculosis in New Mexico was reported more than two years ago. New Mexico holds a modified accredited advanced status from the Department of Agriculture's tuberculosis eradication program, meaning all animals leaving the state, and certain animals entering, require testing.

In February, Colorado reported a case of tuberculosis in a bull from Douglas County, near the center of the state. Colorado will maintain its accredited-free status.

Once active in rodeos, the bull was sold from its Colorado owner to a meat packing plant in San Angelo, Texas. During routine inspection of the carcass, lesions were discovered in the animal's lungs.

As of March 9, test results were negative on nearly 700 head of livestock tested for tuberculosis in Colorado. The cattle were scheduled to be retested in 60 days, according to Dr. John Maulsby, state veterinarian.

Bovine tuberculosis was once the most prevalent infectious disease of cattle and swine in the United States. It caused more losses among U.S. farm animals in the early part of the 20th century than all other infectious diseases combined, according to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Begun in 1917, the Cooperative State-Federal Tuberculosis Eradication Program, which is administered by the USDA APHIS, state animal health agencies, and U.S. livestock producers, has nearly eradicated tuberculosis from the nation's livestock population.

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