Cow from Grant County might have had bovine tuberculosis

By the Tri-City HeraldJanuary 18, 2013 

A cow culled from a Grant County dairy herd may have had bovine tuberculosis, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

The department is investigating the case of possible bovine tuberculosis. The cow had been sent to a Cowlitz County facility for slaughter, but the meat was held after a food safety inspector identified a problem and submitted samples for testing, a news release stated.

State health officials said there's no immediate human health concern connected to the case. The meat from the infected cow was isolated and has been destroyed.

"The good news is that the safety systems in place were effective in identifying this problem and preventing it from spreading," said Dan Newhouse, Department of Agriculture director, in a news release.

"Now, our inspectors will work with our federal, state and agricultural partners to trace this to its source and determine whether any other cows were infected," he stated.

Bovine tuberculosis is contagious among cattle and can cause severe coughing, fatigue and emaciation. The Department of Agriculture has ordered the dairy to not move any of its cows and to pasteurize all milk produced there, according to the news release.

Pasteurization kills bacteria, including bovine tuberculosis, according to the news release.

The state Department of Health recommends people not to drink raw milk because of potential health risks.

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