Protect Livestock From Anthrax

Published: June 2, 2011 04:24 pm EDT

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is reminding livestock producers in the Prairie provinces, where anthrax has been known to occur, to protect their animals this summer


Recent weather conditions and previous outbreaks in the Canadian Prairies may lead to an increased threat of anthrax. Since 2006, anthrax outbreaks have occurred on 50 farms in Manitoba, 170 farms in Saskatchewan and six farms in Alberta.

Livestock producers should consider the following measures to protect their animals:

  • Discuss vaccination with their veterinarian.
  • Avoid feeding the following to non-vaccinated animals in areas where anthrax has occurred: hay that is cut close to the soil or feed that had contact with soil.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment and footwear that may have had contact with contaminated soil.
  • Wash clothes worn when tending to sick animals separately from the rest of the household laundry.
  • Report all suspected anthrax cases to a veterinarian or to the nearest CFIA office.

Anthrax is a naturally occurring disease that can have devastating affects on cattle, sheep, goats, horses and bison. The spores that cause the disease are known to exist in the soil across the Canadian Prairies. They generally surface during the summer months, when heavy rainfall and flooding is followed by hot, dry temperatures.

For more information on anthrax, biosecurity, and Canada’s disease control measures, producers should call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 or visit

To read this story in French, click here.