The 2015-2016 Salmonella outbreak traced to Wisconsin dairy bull calves serves as a reminder of the zoonotic threat posed by this pathogen. The Center for Disease Control reports 36 people from ten states were infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella enterica serovar Heidelberg. No deaths were reported, but 13 individuals were hospitalized, and 25 (69%) of those sickened reported contacts with calves which were subsequently traced back to multiple farms and animal markets.
Is this a new Salmonella strain? How prevalent is Salmonella on beef and dairy farms? How is Salmonella spread between animals and humans? What biosecurity protocols should your farm adopt to protect against Salmonella? In response to these questions, UW-Extension Agriculture Educator Sandy Stuttgen wrote the publication, Salmonella Biosecurity: Protecting Yourself and Your Cattle. The four-page factsheet is available at this direct link: Salmonella Biosecurity (pdf) and on the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) website at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/BasicBiosecurity.aspx DATCP has additional basic biosecurity resources available that dairy, beef and other livestock producers may use in designing protocols to protect their animals and the humans associated with their farm, including their consumers.
Written and submitted by: Sandy Stuttgen, DVM, and Taylor County UW Extension Agriculture Educator