Minnesota confirms first anthrax case in animals since 2013

Authorities have confirmed a case of anthrax in animals up in far northwestern Minnesota.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH) says it’s the first anthrax case in animals in more than a decade.

BAH says the cases were discovered in Kittson County and are affecting multiple cattle and a horse, all of which have been quarantined.

Health officials say the cases in animals aren’t a risk to the public.

“One of the reasons we don’t see a lot of anthrax cases in the state anymore is because we have proactive measures to protect livestock like vaccinations,” said Dr. Katie Cornille, who oversees the Board’s bovine programs. “With this detection in Kittson County, livestock producers who graze their animals on pasture in and around the county should talk to their veterinarian about vaccinating their animals if they aren’t already.”

The board says anthrax in animals typically happens in the summer and often affects livestock grazing on pasture, like cattle, sheep and goats. However, most affected animals die before showing any signs of the disease.

BAH says the last confirmed anthrax case in animals was in Pennington County back in 2013.

Health officials say it’s important to properly dispose of any animals impacted to prevent the spreading of any spores, which could endanger other animals.