Source: Minnesota Board of Animal Health
Gov. Mark Dayton declared today, Dec. 7, as Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Free Day to acknowledge the dedication shown by Minnesota livestock farmers, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, the Minnesota Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources, USDA, agricultural groups, state legislators and numerous other state agencies over the past six years.
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 program aimed at providing additional funds to quickly eliminate TB. 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 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 TB 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," Dayton said. "I want to thank the Board of Animal Health, the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, the Minnesota Farm Bureau, the Minnesota Farmers Union and everyone else who participated in this tremendous effort to protect Minnesota agriculture and make us TB-free."
For additional information on Minnesota’s bovine TB response, please call the hotline at 1-877- MN TB FREE (668-2373) or visit www.mntbfree.com.