More cattle herds quarantined for bovine TB

Ten more cattle herds are being added to Nebraska’s quarantine list for bovine tuberculosis. State agriculture director Greg Ibach says the increase, now to 42 herds, should comes as no surprise.

“This is an ongoing investigation,” Ibach says. “This is just part of a responsible and thorough investigation and these numbers are going to grow over time.” The probe could hurt the state’s cattle industry, which is worth ten-billion dollars.

If Nebraska loses the tuberculosis-free label it’s held for nearly two decades, producers may be forced to pay to test their cattle and prove they’re disease-free before shipping them to other states. Ibach says the producers who have herds under quarantine will see disruptions in their marketing cycle.

He says any animals leaving the farm or ranch will only be allowed to go immediately to slaughter so in a cow/calf or yearling operation, that’s not the most likely marketing scenario. Ibach says some cattle from the herds were sold before the T-B quarantine was imposed. Colorado and South Dakota officials have been alerted.

At this point, he says there is no financial assistance available for the producers. He hopes they can get through the testing process, then talk to USDA about releasing some of the quarantines. Testing of the herds started on Monday with approximately 15,000 to be tested. Ibach says they hope to be finished testing all herds by October 30th of this year.

Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton

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