After 10 weeks of testing, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture reports that all tests for Bovine Tuberculosis have been negative. The department reports that between June 15 and August 16, they tested approximately 10,100 head of cattle. Twenty-two herds in 12 Nebraska counties remain quarantined. Christian Kamm, Public Information Officer for the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, says over 15,000 head of cattle will be tested by the end of the program in early November.
The investigation began in early June when a cow from a Rock County beef herd tested positive for bovine TB. A second cow from that herd later also tested positive for the disease. The epidemiological investigation involves locating any cattle that may have been pastured next to the infected herd during the past two years, as well as tracing cattle movement into and out of the herd during that time frame.
Nebraska is not the only state investigating bovine tuberculosis. Texas has its fair share of problems; and California, Minnesota, Michigan and New Mexico have identified cattle with the disease.
Bovine Tuberculosis is considered to be untreatable in cattle, so both infected and uninfected animals in a herd usually are killed when bovine tuberculosis is found. The problem has created costly problems for the cattle industry in states where the disease has appeared, but it appears to be a manageable threat. Cattlemen say it's more of a nuisance.