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Anthrax confirmed in South Dakota cattle herd

Brent Duerre
File photo

For the first time this year, officials are confirming anthrax was discovered in a South Dakota cattle herd.

The herd of about 150 pairs is in Ziebach County, according to the state veterinarian Beth Thompson.

Several animals from the herd were recently found dead. A state lab confirmed it was anthrax.

The herd was not vaccinated, officials said.

Anthrax is a bacterial disease that can spread quickly and kill many animals in a short amount of time. Its spores can survive indefinitely in soil. Certain weather conditions can expose animals to spores, triggering an outbreak.

“Preventative actions by herd owners are so important for herd health, especially in the summer months,” Thompson said. “Establish a working relationship with your local veterinarian, check your cattle frequently, and investigate any suspicious deaths on pasture. Preventative measures such as vaccination are available.”