BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — State Veterinarian Susan Keller is urging North Dakota ranchers to make sure their livestock are vaccinated against anthrax, after the first confirmed case of the year in a Barnes County beef cow.
Anthrax bacteria spores lie dormant in the soil and become active under extreme weather conditions such as flooding or drought. North Dakota usually has a few anthrax cases every year. An outbreak in 2005 is believed to have killed more than 1,000 cattle, bison, horses, sheep, llamas, and farmer deer and elk.
Keller says an effective anthrax vaccine is readily available through licensed veterinarians, but it takes about a week for immunity to take hold.