For the first time since 2002, an Emmet County cattle herd has tested positive for Bovine Tuberculosis, state Agriculture officials say. TB can be spread to humans through milk and other animal products. Officials have not decided yet whether to kill the entire herd, or to test all the animals.
Over the next six months, all herds within a 10 mile radius of the infected farm will be tested, and the discovery also means farmers from Cheboygan to Antrim, and Crawford counties will have to continue testing their herds. Within the next couple years, the state had hoped to declare the region "TB Free." That would have lessened testing requirements for many Northern Michigan Farmers.
"There are definitely various regulations that they have to go through, or hoops they have to jump through, compared to maybe other producers in the lower part of Michigan," says Dr. James Averill, the Agriculture Department's Bovine TB Eradication Program Coordinator.
Averill says the state hopes to declare the majority of southern counties "TB free" yet this year.