13 cattle confirmed dead in anthrax case

Beef cattle grazing in Kern County CA.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN TV) - Anthrax is the cause of death for 13 cattle in a southeastern Pennington County cattle herd.

Dr. Dustin Oedekoven with the South Dakota Animal Industry Board has confirmed that these cattle rapidly died from the disease that can be found in South Dakota soil.

Anthrax is a bacterial disease that can live in the soil for long periods of time. The disease is not an issue until there are large changes in climate conditions, like extreme drought or flooding. The swings in the climate stir up the soil, and livestock are more likely to inhale or ingest the spores that carry anthrax.

The herd found south of New Underwood has been vaccinated for the disease, and producers hope the rest of the herd will not contract it.

Cases of anthrax are found in South Dakota almost every year, but it has been a while since there was a case in West River.

Anyone who finds livestock or wildlife who have died suddenly should report it to the South Dakota Animal Industry Board or your local veterinarian.

Animals who are diagnosed with anthrax should be disposed of quickly and properly.