BY ANTHONY RIZZO
Two livestock haulers were caught illegally moving calves without official Radio Frequency Identification, of RFID tags, and fined over $22,000 combined.
All cattle are required to bear RFID tags in Michigan before they’re moved for precautionary reasons due to the presence of diseases including Bovine Tuberculosis.
Dr. James Averill is the State Veterinarian with the State Department of Agriculture and Development.
He said, in Michigan, there are three separate zones from most to least severity of Bovine TB in livestock and wildlife herds.
The highest level, or the Modified Accredited zone, includes Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency and Oscoda counties.
“Bovine Tuberculosis is a slow-growing bacteria and it can be transmitted from animal to animal, whether that’s in the whitetail deer or it’s in the cattle. Most of the time when we find an infection, it’s due to indirect transmission where an animal eats, when it coughs or sneezes, and another animal comes along and eats that food,” Averill said.
Averill said Bovine TB was first introduced to northeastern Michigan in the winter of 1994 through whitetail deer.
It 1998 that the disease was first found in cattle.