AgNews: Rural Animal Disease Concerns

AgNews: Rural Animal Disease Concerns

April 10, 2009

Releases this week from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Tuberculosis Case Discovered In Captive Elk Herd

According to Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) State Veterinarian Dr. Dennis Hughes, NDA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) veterinarians have discovered a herd of captive elk and fallow deer in the Knox County area that have tested positive for Tuberculosis (TB). NDA has authority over captive cervid herds in the state.

According to Dr. Hughes, NDA and USDA are currently in the process of working with the producer who has been cooperating with the two agencies. The herd, which is currently under quarantine, is eligible for depopulation and indemnification in accordance with USDA guidelines.

"The area where these animals are kept is fairly remote and there is no direct contact with any livestock," said Dr. Hughes. "NDA is coordinating with the Nebraska Game and Parks authorities on the situation, and they will be taking appropriate next steps regarding the wild cervid population in the area."

TB is a slow, progressive disease and is difficult to diagnose in the early stages; however, as the disease progresses animals can exhibit emaciation, lethargy, weakness, anorexia, low?grade fever and pneumonia with a chronic, moist cough.

Further information on tuberculosis can be found at under the Bureau of Animal Industry link.


Wild Pig Infected with Pseudorabies; NDA Urges Vigilance

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is investigating a wild pig infected with pseudorabies in the Genoa area.

NDA is currently contacting producers in the area to alert them to the situation and to advise them of symptoms and preventative measures. A similar outbreak of pseudorabies was discovered in this area in early 2007.

Swine producers should be vigilant and watch for any of the symptoms of pseudorabies in their animals. Symptoms include: respiratory distress, nervous system signs (trembling, difficulty with coordination, and paralysis), sudden death of your piglets, and females aborting. If producers notice pigs with these symtoms, they're encourage to contact their local veterinarian or NDA at (800) 572-2437.

Producers have several options for avoiding the disease, including vaccinating stock, following strict biosecurity measures on their farms, and minimizing contact with wildlife and rodents.

Further information on pseudorabies can be found at

Online Master of Science in Agronomy

With a focus on industry applications and research, the online program is designed with maximum flexibility for today's working professionals.

A field of corn.