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Bovine tuberculosis found in West Michigan cattle herd

Feb 14, 2018

Cattle grazing in a field.
Credit F Delventhal / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

State officials say two cattle on a farm in Ottawa County have tested positive for bovine tuberculosis.

James Averill, a veterinarian with the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, says the disease can be spread in a few different ways.

“It can be transmitted from cattle to cattle, and it's also considered a zoonotic where it can be transmitted from cattle to humans,” Averill said.

Averill says a different strain of the respiratory disease was found in whitetail deer in the northeast portion of the state's Lower Peninsula.

“And they actually are the cause, many times, of it spilling back into the cattle population,” he said.

Averill says eating infected animal meat or drinking unpasteurized milk are the easiest ways for cattle to pass the disease to humans.

A public meeting to discuss the Ottawa County outbreak is scheduled for March 6 in Grandville.