A Washington State dairy cow sent to slaughter is suspected to have been infected with the bacteria that causes bovine tuberculosis, which can also cause tuberculosis in humans. This is the first case of bovine tuberculosis detected in the state since 1988. The problem was spotted at the slaughter facility by an inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service on Jan. 8. The inspector noticed a suspicious lesion on the cow and had samples submitted for testing, isolating the meat until the results returned on Jan. 16 indicating a consistency with bovine tuberculosis. The meat will soon be destroyed and will not enter the food system. The cow came from a Grant County dairy that pasteurizes all of its milk, effectively eliminating the risk of passing tuberculosis to humans, Washington State Department of Agriculture communications director Hector Castro told Food Safety News. State agriculture officials have barred the farm from moving any cows off the property or selling raw milk for consumption until inspectors can test the entire herd for tuberculosis. Those tests should occur over one or two days next week, Castro said. The Grant County dairy purchased the cow from a dairy in Snohomish County roughly one year ago. At the time, the Snohomish County dairy pasteurized its milk, but after selling that cow and the rest of its herd, it acquired a new herd and began producing milk for raw consumption. According to state law, raw milk dairies must test their cows for a number of diseases, including bovine tuberculosis. The Snohomish County dairy reportedly tests their cows monthly has not reported tuberculosis in any of its current herd. Regardless, the owner of that dairy has voluntarily halted milk sales until state agriculture officials conduct further testing on the herd. Raw milk has the potential to transmit bovine tuberculosis to humans. According to the state department of agriculture, there are currently 34 retail raw milk dairies in Washington, and they must maintain their animals at a higher level of testing requirements to sell milk legally. Raw milk cows must annually test negative for Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, Q Fever, and a number of other diseases as required by the state veterinarian. New animals entering the herd must be tested within 30 days prior. According to a department of agriculture press release, the federal government began a bovine tuberculosis eradication program in 1917 that has virtually eliminated the disease in the U.S.