Real Raw Milk Facts

Tuberculosis Detected In California, Cow Headed To Slaughter

By SF Gate

San Francisco Chronicle


CDFA Press Release

State and federal officials said Tuesday they have detected bovine tuberculosis in a dairy cow from a San Bernardino County herd during a routine examination at a slaughterhouse.

A suspicious mass on the cow tested positive for the disease on March 25, and three other animals in the same herd were later identified as also being infected, said Steve Lyle, a spokesman with the California Department of Food and Agriculture

Lyle declined to release the name of the dairy.

The discovery does not pose a risk to humans because almost all milk sold in California is pasteurized, which kills the tuberculosis, said Larry Hawkins, a Sacramento-based spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cows at the state’s two raw-milk dairies are regularly tested for the disease, according to a joint statement by the state and USDA.

Other animals in the herd that are found to be infected are slaughtered and all the animals they came into contact with are also tested, Hawkins said.

“You follow that same regime until you have eliminated all of the potential exposures from one animal to another and until you have removed all the animals that have the disease,” he said. “It’s a cause for concern to the herd owner because of the negative impact financially, but in terms of disease it is not a concern.”

All cattle designated for consumption are inspected for signs of tuberculosis at the slaughterhouse and are rejected if they show signs of it.

The last known case of bovine tuberculosis in California was in 2009.

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