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2nd cattle anthrax case confirmed in Kidder County

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Officials have confirmed a second case of cattle anthrax in Kidder County.

The case was confirmed by the North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on Friday, according to the state Agriculture Department. The first case was reported in August.

Anthrax is caused by bacterial spores that can lie dormant in the ground for decades and become active under ideal conditions, such as drought.

“The recent cases are a reminder to take action to protect your animals from disease, especially in areas with a past history,” State Veterinarian Ethan Andress said. “Producers in past known affected areas and counties should consult with their veterinarians to make sure the vaccination schedule for their animals is current.

"Producers in Kidder County and surrounding areas should confer with their veterinarians to determine if initiating first-time vaccinations against anthrax is warranted for their cattle at this time,” he said.

Effective anthrax vaccines are readily available, but it takes about a week for immunity to be established, and vaccine must be administered annually for continued protection.

A few anthrax cases are reported in the state almost every year; there were two cases in 2020. But some years there have been outbreaks, such as in 2005, when total livestock losses were estimated at more than 1,000.

“Anthrax has been most frequently reported in northeast, southeast and south-central North Dakota, but it has been found in almost every part of the state,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.

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