More Bovine TB Found on Molokai – UPDATED MEETING INFO
Bovine tuberculosis has again been detected on Molokai after cases were confirmed earlier this year – this time in pigs in West Molokai, according to the Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture (HDOA) on Sunday, Dec. 5.
In June, Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) was found in a herd of cattle in central Molokai in June. The infected cow was originally from a beef cattle herd in Ho`olehua and was temporarily pastured in Mapulehu on the east end because of the ongoing drought, the HDOA previously stated. The herd was depopulated with federal indemnity, which compensates farmers for this type of loss.
Subsequently, bTB was detected in two additional cattle herds in the Ho’olehua area that were adjacent and in close contact with the first infected herd, according to the HDOA. Three animals tested positive from the two herds, one of which had 21 head of cattle, and the other that had five cows. All animals in both herds were culled between August and October, the HDOH said. Additional testing in the area had been ongoing since August, with the DOA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Veterinary Services (USDA-VS) working with local farmers and ranchers, and no additional cases were found.
That changed last month, however.
“On Nov. 10, 2021, a USDA Food Safety Inspection Service veterinary medical officer detected lesions consistent with tuberculosis from four pigs slaughtered at the Molokai Livestock Cooperative and submitted samples to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory,” the HDOA stated, after The Molokai Dispatch requested information on recent Molokai bTB cases. “On Nov. 17, 2021, the lab confirmed bTB in the four pigs that originated from a farm on the West End of Molokai.”
The farm raises pigs, cattle and sheep. The HDOA and USDA-VS are currently working on depopulation and further testing, as well as testing on at least three adjacent ranches. In the meantime, a quarantine order is in place to prevent unrestricted movement from that livestock operation, according to the HDOA.
Originally scheduled for Dec. 15, the HDOA has rescheduled a virtual meeting on Dec. 20 at 5 p.m. to update Molokai farmers and ranchers on the recent bTB incident. Zoom information is included at the end of this story.
BTB, or Mycobacterium bovis, is a contagious and infectious disease of animals, usually carried by cows, that can also infect other animals as well as humans. There have been sporadic outbreaks on Molokai in cattle herds since the 1940s, especially on the east end, but the June detection on Molokai was the first case in Hawaii since a Molokai outbreak in 1997. Previously in 1985, HDOA made the decision to depopulate all cattle on Molokai in an effort to eradicate bTB and more than 9,000 cattle were removed from Molokai.
The HDOA and the USDA have since been monitoring cattle herds and wildlife on the east end of Molokai with regular testing. Bovine TB has been found to continue in feral pigs on Molokai’s east end and the HDOA says there has been ongoing concern about the possibility of transmitting the disease back to cattle herds. In the past, bTB had also been detected in axis deer and mongoose on Molokai.
To join the virtual meeting on Dec. 20 5 p.m., please click the link below to join the webinar:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 205 6099 or +1 301 715 8592
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