A research group is warning Canadian farmers to keep a close eye on their cattle herds as certain weather conditions this year could lead to an elevated risk of anthrax.
Anthrax is caused by a bacteria that lives in the soil.
Reynold Bergen with the Beef Cattle Research Council said very dry or very wet weather and flooding are some of the factors that can increase the odds grazing animals like cows, bison and sheep ingest it.
The disease is highly contagious and typically kills animals quickly.
Bergen said it’s not the first time they’ve asked beef producers to be on the lookout.
“The reason we issued the warning is simply because we know the conditions under which it’s likely to raise its head and because it can be avoided. There is a vaccine,” Bergen told CBC News.
2 dozen outbreaks since 60s
Researchers estimate there have been about two dozen outbreaks in Canada since the 1960s.
One of the largest occurred in 2006 in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where more than 800 cattle died from the disease.
Still, the chief veterinarian with Alberta Agriculture says anthrax incidents are rare.
“We’ll see maybe one or two cases in a given year and then we probably go a couple of years without seeing any,” Keith Lehman said.
Researchers say the anthrax risk is typically high during the summer and that it poses a minimal risk to people and the food chain.
The council recommends farmers call a veterinarian if they suspect one of their animals may have been infected, and that it’s essential it’s detected early to prevent its spread.
With files from CBC’s Dave Gilson
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Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area. It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary, generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road). Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.
Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016, Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.
Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton. The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.