Minnesota Declared bTB Free

US - The US Department of Agriculture has declared Minnesota as being free of bovine Tuberculosis (bTB), following on from the six year battle for the status by Minnesota livestock farmers and health officials.
calendar icon 9 December 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The first TB-infected beef cattle herd was detected in July 2005 in northwestern Minnesota. Subsequently, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources detected the disease in the wild deer in the same area. Since that time, more than 800,000 TB tests have been done around the state. More than 14 miles of fencing has been installed in the Management Zone to reduce the interaction between deer and cattle. Cattle farmers across Minnesota contributed $1 million as part of a one dollar assessment programme aimed at providing additional funds to quickly eliminate bTB. In addition, deer hunters tested more than 14,000 deer for the bacterial disease.

"This is a victory for the entire livestock industry in Minnesota. In fact, it's a victory for all of Minnesota," said Minnesota State Veterinarian and Board of Animal Health Executive Director Dr Bill Hartmann.

"Agriculture in Minnesota continues to contribute billions of dollars each year to our economy while providing a safe and nutritious food source for people all over the world. But, with this victory comes the responsibility to ensure our state remains free of the disease."

The Board of Animal Health has maintained some requirements for herds in the Management Zone. The Department of Natural Resources will also continue management of deer populations and surveillance of hunter harvested wild deer in the bovine bTB area until testing indicates that the disease has been eliminated in deer.

"The hard work and dedication of many people have brought us to this great day – reclaiming Minnesota's statewide TB-Free status," said Governor Mark Dayton. "I want to thank the Board of Animal Health, the MN State Cattlemen's Association, the MN Milk Producers Association, the MN Farm Bureau, the MN Farmers Union, and everyone else who participated in this tremendous effort to protect Minnesota agriculture and make us bTB-free."

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