State achieves brucellosis-free status

Thursday, April 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- For the first time in five decades, Oklahoma's cattle are free of brucellosis, and will get an official brucellosis-free certification from the U-S Department of Agriculture at ceremony on Tuesday.

State veterinarian Burke Healey says the states went 12 months without a known case of brucellosis.

Brucellosis bacteria causes cows to abort or produce sickly calves, interrupts breeding cycles and decreases milk production. All infected animals are destroyed.

The disease can spread to people through unpasteurized milk or through handling infected animals.

Eradication efforts have helped make the disease rare.

The only states that haven't had their cattle herd declared brucellosis free are Missouri, Texas and Florida.