Agriculture Ministry says natural anthrax killed 13 bison in northern B.C.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C.—Thirteen bison on a farm in northeastern B.C. died of naturally acquired anthrax, a bacteria that the provincial Agriculture Ministry says can remain dormant in certain soil conditions for many years.

The ministry says in a statement that the animals are thought to have contracted the disease from exposure to dormant anthrax spores in the soil of a feeding site on a farm near Fort St. John.

The site is no longer being used and the farm has reported no other losses in its remaining heard of 150 animals.

A vaccine for anthrax for livestock is available and the ministry says exposed animals can be successfully treated if diagnosed early.

It says that anthrax can affect humans, although it’s very rare and there is no indication that anyone in contact with these animals has been infected.

Anthrax can remain dormant in soil under certain conditions for many years and the ministry says it occurs naturally in livestock in the Prairies.

TORONTO STAR

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