Three counties in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula no longer are covered by strict requirements designed to prevent cattle from being infected with bovine tuberculosis.
The change means cattle in Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet counties will be regulated the same way as herds in other parts of the state that are classified as free of the deadly illness.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said Tuesday the tougher rules for identifying, testing and moving cattle will remain in effect in four counties where bovine TB continues to turn up. They include Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda.
The state's revised policy also will reduce the number of herds that must be tested in Cheboygan, Presque Isle and Otsego counties.
Bovine TB is passed through close contact between animals.