Bovine TB suspected in Wash. cow sent to slaughter

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state agriculture officials are investigating a possible case of bovine tuberculosis in a Grant County dairy cow sent to slaughter. That ailment has not been seen in Washington cattle since 1988.

Health officials say there is no immediate human health concern. Agriculture Department spokesman Hector Castro said Thursday that the meat was isolated after a federal food safety inspector spotted a suspicious lesion and sent a sample for testing. The cow was sent earlier this month to a Cowlitz County slaughter facility.

Castro says milk produced by the dairy was intended for pasteurization, which kills bacteria, including bovine TB. The dairy was not identified.

The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa reported Wednesday that the tissue sample was consistent with bovine TB. Castro says an additional test is being done to confirm the diagnosis, with results expected in six weeks.

The meat was destroyed.

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