FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Many concerned livestock producers came out to learn about anthrax at the Anthrax Information Session held Monday night at the Stoneridge Hotel.
The meeting was organized after anthrax was confirmed in the death of 13 bison on a farm near Fort St. John. Dr. Chris Clark, of Western College of Veterinarian and Medicine, gave a lecture on the anthrax disease and the risk it may pose to livestock and humans.
“One thing about the disease anthrax is it conjures up a lot of spectres in people’s minds, and they get very nervous when they hear about anthrax, and I do firmly believe that knowledge is a way that we counter those,” said Dr. Clark as he addressed the audience.
“This is nothing new. Anthrax is essentially the oldest disease known to medicine. We’ve got evidence that it’s been around for, at least, 4,000 years”, said Clark.
Anthrax is a naturally occurring disease caused by a spore-forming bacterium.
Clark reassured producers that the risk to humans is minimal as it is not a directly contagious disease. The only way to get infected is if you were to ingest the bacteria. If you were to get infected, there are very effective vaccines that prevent and cure anthrax.
Clark suggests that if a producer has any concerns about the risk of anthrax, they are encouraged to speak with their veterinarian.
More about the anthrax disease can be found on the Government of Canada website.
You can watch the entire anthrax session with Dr. Clark below: