Bovine TB regulations change, helping beef producersWORTHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday issued a federal order that will allow beef producers in modified bovine tuberculosis zones to transport their breeding animals across state lines without undergoing costly TB testing.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday issued a federal order that will allow beef producers in modified bovine tuberculosis zones to transport their breeding animals across state lines without undergoing costly TB testing.
The news is positive for beef cattle producers in Minnesota especially, which has been under split-state status since Oct. 10, 2008. Minnesota had been a TB-free state up until 2005, when tuberculosis was discovered in a beef cattle herd in northwest Minnesota. Since then, 12 herds in Beltrami and Roseau counties have had confirmed cases of the disease.
“The important part is that we haven’t found an infected herd for over a year now,” said Bill Hartmann, executive director of Minnesota’s Board of Animal Health (BAH) and state veterinarian. “We continue to test 300 herds every year in that modified accredited area of the state, and we haven’t found any infection in over a year.”
While no beef cattle in southwest Minnesota were ever found to have TB, producers remain under a Modified Accredited Advanced status. Up until Thursday’s announcement, they had to test any breeding stock before it was transported across state lines.
“There may be some states that have different import rules,” Hartmann said, adding that producers will still need to check with states regarding their policy.
Most impacted by Thursday’s ruling are states that are not currently TB-free. In addition to Minnesota, they include Michigan, California and New Mexico, and more recently South Dakota, Nebraska and Texas.
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