FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Ministry of Agriculture and the North Peace Vet Clinic will host a livestock producer information meeting Monday after Anthrax was found at a farm outside of Fort St. John.
A diagnosis of naturally acquired anthrax has been confirmed in the death of 13 bison on a farm near Fort St. John.
The animals are thought to have contracted the disease from exposure to dormant anthrax spores in the soil of a feeding site, which is no longer being used. No further losses on the farm, which has a herd of more than 150 animals, have been reported.
The meeting will be held on Monday, October 29 at the Stonebridge Hotel starting at 6:30 p.m. Dr. Chris Clark from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and Dr. Jong Kim from Northern Health will be at the meeting.
Dr. Clark has been directly involved in Anthrax public consultations and has extensive experience in anthrax diagnosis, control and impacts in other Canadian outbreaks.
Anthrax occurs naturally in livestock on the Canadian Prairies and in Northern Alberta and is established in Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National Park. The bacteria can remain dormant in soil under certain conditions for many years.
An effective vaccine for anthrax for livestock is available, and the rest of the herd on the infected farm will be vaccinated. Animals that have been exposed to anthrax spores in the soil are often successfully treated if diagnosed early. Livestock producers seeking advice on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of anthrax cases in their herd are encouraged to contact their veterinarian.