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Province warning producers of anthrax after case confirmed in RM of Cote

The Government of Saskatchewan is asking livestock producers to be on the lookout after a case of anthrax was confirmed in the rural municipality of Cote No. 271.

The case was confirmed in one cow by lab results on Sept. 25, according to a news release from Saskatchewan Agriculture.

Anthrax is also suspected in the deaths of two other cattle in the same herd.

Anthrax is caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis and can survive in spore form for decades in soil.

“Changes in soil moisture, from flooding and drying, can lead to a build-up of spores on pastures,” the release read. “Spores can concentrate in sloughs and potholes, and the risk of animal exposure to anthrax increases in drier years when these areas dry up and become accessible.”

Spores can also surface when ground is excavated or with excessive run-off.

According to the province, livestock can be infected by eating forage contaminated by spores.

Animals such as bison, cattle, sheep and goats are highly susceptible to the disease. Horses can also be infected while swine, birds and carnivores are more resistant to infection.

Regardless farm dogs and cats should be kept away from carcasses.

Animals affected by anthrax are usually found dead with no signs of illness. Livestock can be vaccinated against anthrax.

“If a producer's neighbours have anthrax, they should consider vaccination to protect their animals,” the release outlined. “Anyone who suspects anthrax should contact their local veterinarian immediately for diagnosis. All tests must be confirmed by a laboratory diagnosis.”

All positive test results must be reported to the provincial chief veterinary officer.

The RM of Cote No. 271 is located around 260 kilometers northeast of Regina, near the Manitoba border. Top Stories

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