We’ve had a couple of weeks to think about this disturbing news – anthrax confirmed in a herd of South Dakota cattle.

The animals in the herd were unvaccinated.   While there is no law requiring annual anthrax vaccination, it is recommended by veterinary authorities at least two to four weeks prior to the expected seasonal onset of the illness.  Immunity in livestock develops 7 to 10 days following vaccination.

The key point here is – they’ve got to be vaccinated to get protection.  And you can choose to vaccinate or not.

Not so with digging.  According to South Dakota law:

No excavator may begin any excavation without first notifying the one-call notification center of the proposed excavation. The excavator shall give notice by telephone or by other methods approved by the board pursuant to rules promulgated pursuant to chapter 1-26 to the one-call notification center at least forty-eight hours prior to the commencement of the excavation, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays of the state. 

Notifying South Dakota 811 to get underground facilities located before a dig is the cheapest insurance you will ever get for free.

A quick Google search found 50 doses of veterinary anthrax vaccine selling for $38.99 plus shipping. That’s a lot less than the cost of a single animal, much less the cost of losing an entire herd.  It’s insurance.

So:  one insurance is a choice, and will cost you some dollars out of pocket.  BUT – it  will cost you more dollars out of pocket if you gamble and lose.

The other insurance is a free call and a free service.  And if you don’t call, you could potentially be out more than some dollars from your pocket. If you strike a buried gas or electrical line, you could potentially lose your life.

At South Dakota 811, our goal is to make our state a safer place to live and work in.  By using 811 to get underground utilities located before a dig, you’re doing your part to help out your fellow South Dakotans.   A broken line doesn’t just affect the person who broke it.  Imagine a hospital without water, gas, or telecommunications.  The list of potential disruptions is unimaginable – and also almost completely preventable.

Getting an 811 locate reduces your chances of striking something you shouldn’t to less than 1% – and that’s a great return on your very minimal investment.

We’re open 24/7/365.  Just call 811 or drop by our website at sd811.com  for more information.

Until next time, safe digging!

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