Project Leader: Dr. Denis Krause, Dept. Animal Science
Co-Investigators: Kim Ominski (U of M), Kees Plaizier (U of M), Katherine Buckley (AAFC-BRC), Glen Duizer (U of S)
Assess the effectiveness of a biosecure carcass composting system for destroying Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuburculosis (MAP), the bacterium that causes Johne's disease, a chronic wasting disease in cattle
Why is this research important? A suitable means of disposing JD-infected animals that have been euthanized is needed since infected animals cannot be sold into the food chain, and burial results in risk to ground water
Findings: Although proven to be effective for destroying certain bacteria, this composting system did not destroy MAP. Under controlled laboratory conditions, MAP also persisted under long term exposure to as high as 80C. Other alternatives for disposing of JD-infected animals need to be investigated.