Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture is reminding producers to vaccinate their livestock following confirmation that anthrax has been found in cattle in the RM of Harris.

Anthrax is caused by bacteria which can live in the soil for decades.

Exposure to anthrax increases in drier years when sloughs and potholes dry up and become accessible.

Wendy Wilkins is the Province’s Disease Surveillance Veterinarian.

"Over the weekend a producer called his local vetrinarian because he found a yearling dead on pasture. Subsequent to exam and sending in sample for testing, we received confirmation yesterday that this animal had died from anthrax. Two other animals have died on the same pasture recently of anthrax, so we're considering all three deaths as suspicous or caused by anthrax."

She says exposure to anthrax increases in drier years

"Anthrax seems to be concentrated in low-lying wet areas. The fact is that they are boyant and they sit on top of the water, and then as the water receeds, then they are concentrated at the bottom of that pothole. So we have the animals getting into these areas now and then we see these anthrax outbreaks."

Wilkins adds producers are encouraged to vaccinate their animals.

"For those areas where anthrax outbreaks have been known to occur, it's very important to keep up that vaccination program. Just because you don't see it for ten years, doesn't mean it's not there."

She says affected animals are usually found dead in a short period of time without any signs of illness adding that you should call your local veterinarian immediately and not move the animals carcass.