SD, ND have confirmed animal anthrax cases

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota's state veterinarian is urging ranchers to ensure their animals are vaccinated after the state's first case of animal anthrax this year.

Dustin Oedekoven (OH'-dih-koh-vehn) says a herd of unvaccinated bison in Dewey County in north central South Dakota was found to be infected on July 31.

Oedekoven says the disease is not a food safety concern, but more of an occupational concern.

Anthrax bacteria spores lie dormant in the ground and can become active under extreme weather like flooding and drought. Outbreaks can kill many animals quickly. An outbreak in North Dakota in 2005 killed more than 1,000 animals.

North Dakota had its first case this year about a month ago, in a Barnes County beef cow. State Veterinarian Susan Keller says there have been no additional cases.

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