Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462, Larry Hawkins, USDA, (916) 930-5509
SACRAMENTO – A detection of Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) has occurred at a dairy in Fresno County. State and federal animal health officials are working closely with the dairy farmer and his veterinarians to implement control strategies to eradicate the disease.
The diagnosis of TB was made after a cow with suspicious lesions was found during routine slaughter inspection. This week, CDFA and USDA veterinarians completed tests on some herds that may have been exposed based on animal tracing records and determined that, to date, TB is present in just one herd. The tracing of related animal movement will continue, as will TB testing.
Bovine Tuberculosis does not threaten the quality and safety of milk and meat products in California. Almost all milk sold in California is pasteurized, which destroys organisms that could be harmful to humans, including TB organisms. The state’s two raw milk dairies are regularly tested for TB. All cattle processed for meat are inspected for signs of TB infection and rejected for consumption if they show signs of the disease.
Tuberculosis is a chronic, slow-spreading disease that can remain undetected for years. Infected animals, even those that appear healthy, can spread infection to other animals. The state of California has been involved in TB eradication programs since 1917. The last known case of Bovine TB in California was in 2003.
The best way for farmers and ranchers to prevent bovine tuberculosis is to follow animal import regulations, require TB testing of new cattle before purchase, maintain permanent identification of animals, keep records of animal movements into and out of their herd, prevent contact of breeding cattle with cattle of unknown origin, and cooperate with government officials on TB investigations.