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Anthrax confirmed in Harris, Sask. area cattle

Watch above: Two cases of anthrax have been discovered in Saskatchewan this month. Prof. Chris Clark from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine discusses how producers should deal with anthrax.

HARRIS, Sask. – A second case of anthrax has been confirmed in Saskatchewan. Officials with the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed Wednesday anthrax was found in cattle on a farm in the rural municipality of Harris.

Laboratory results confirmed anthrax was the cause of death of one cow and is the suspected cause of death of two other cattle on the same farm.

Earlier this month, anthrax was confirmed as the cause of death of two bison northwest of North Battleford and was the suspected cause in seven other deaths.

READ MORE: Anthrax confirmed in 2 Saskatchewan bison deaths

A case of anthrax was reported this week in cattle in Fort Vermillion, Alta. area.

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Officials say producers can protect their animals by vaccinating them each year.

Anthrax is caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis, which can survive in spore form for decades in soil. Changes in soil moisture, from flooding and drying, can lead to a build-up of the spores on pastures.

Livestock become infected when they eat forage contaminated with the spores.

Anyone who suspects anthrax in an animal should not move or disturb the carcass and instead should immediately contact their local veterinarian.

Producers are being advised to use caution when dealing with a suspected anthrax case. While animal cases pose minimal risk to humans, people can get infected through direct contact with sick animals or carcasses.

Anyone who believes they may have been exposed to an infected animal should contact their local health authority or physician for advice.

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