The Minnesota Board of Animal Health announced that the State of Minnesota will submit an application for statewide bovine Tuberculosis-Free status at the end of the month.
The request comes less than six years after the discovery of an infected beef herd in July 2005. The Board anticipates approval of the application in late summer or early fall of this year.
In recent years, status downgrades have been the cause of increased testing and movement requirements for Minnesota cattle, both in-state and out. With U.S. Department of Agriculture approval, the status upgrade would bring relief to most Minnesota cattle producers.
"Obtaining statewide TB-Free status will be a tremendous victory for the state's cattle industry," said Bill Hartmann, BAH executive director and state veterinarian. "With that victory comes the responsibility of the Board to ensure our state remains free of the disease. To provide extra assurance that TB is eliminated, surveillance will continue in cattle herds in the Management Zone."
The Department of Natural Resources also will continue management of deer populations and surveillance of hunter harvested wild deer in the bovine TB area until it is demonstrated that the disease has been eliminated in deer. Pending final culture results, 2010 will be the first calendar year since 2005 with no confirmed bovine TB positive wild deer detected.
Producers in the current Modified Accredited Advanced zone would no longer be required to obtain permits or test individual animals prior to moving cattle. An additional whole-herd test would be required of MAA Zone herds after the state obtains TB-Free status. Producers in the smaller Management Zone would continue slightly modified testing and movement requirements.