Animal HealthDiseasesAnthraxAnthrax Prevention

Anthrax Prevention and Control

Information about how to prevent and control further spread of Anthrax.

Anthrax Vaccine

Effective vaccines to protect cattle and other animals from anthrax are available. In Montana, the vaccines can only be purchased through private veterinary practitioners. The injection can be administered by private veterinary practitioners or ranchers, and is recommended for livestock residing in or near an outbreak; and animals that will be moved into the area.

Biosecurity Precautions

Wash hands thoroughly after handling livestock. Ranchers can contract a skin form of anthrax that requires specific antibiotic treatment. See your physician if you develop a sore or lesions after handling vaccine or livestock.

Keep dogs out of pastures and away from carcasses during an anthrax outbreak. Although dogs are reportedly resistant to anthrax, they can develop infection from the bacteria and may require treatment.

Do not swim in stock tanks or stagnant ponds in pastures where death losses have occurred. Streams are considered safer, as the moving water will dilute organisms. Report animal carcasses in streams or rivers to local authorities.

Hunter Information

It is recommended that hunters wear latex gloves when processing game to prevent potential exposure to bacteria, viruses or parasites. Thoroughly cooked meat is considered safe to eat.

Do not collect antlers, skulls or horns from animals. Anthrax can survive, even if bones are bleached.

Control Measures

Anthrax is a reportable disease. Any confirmed or suspected case should be reported to:

  • Montana State Veterinarian - 406-444-2043
  • U.S.D.A. APHIS Veterinary Services, Montana - 406-449-2220

In general, all remaining animals should be promptly removed from the affected pasture, a limited quarantine should be placed on affected premises for 10-14 days, and all susceptible healthy livestock on affected and surrounding premises should be vaccinated.

To reduce environmental contamination, carcasses of animals that die of anthrax should be burned or buried at least 6 feet deep.

In addition, bedding, soil, and other materials contaminated with body fluids should also be burned or buried.

Animal Health Bureau

Helpful Links


Contact Information

Department of Livestock
Animal Health Bureau
PO Box 202001
Helena, MT 59620-2001
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