PORTLAND — State officials say naturally occurring anthrax has been confirmed as the cause of death in a Klamath County steer, and is the suspected cause of death in two others from the same herd.
Anthrax outbreaks are not uncommon in Western states, but state veterinarian Brad Leamaster says this is Oregon’s first anthrax case involving an animal in more than five decades.
Animals generally get the disease by ingesting or inhaling spores that can survive in soil for decades.
The steer identified with anthrax died August 22. Two other steers died at around the same time.
The state Department of Agriculture oversaw a deep burial of the animals and quarantined the ranch located near Fort Klamath.