June 01, 2008


 USDA fights bovine TB, downgrades Minnesota's status

Posted May 15, 2008 

The Department of Agriculture recently downgraded Minnesota's bovine tuberculosis status, shortly after announcing $16.8 million in emergency funding to continue eradication efforts in that state as well as Michigan and California.

The USDA changed Minnesota's status from modified accredited advanced to modified accredited after officials found tuberculosis in four cattle herds in the state within a year. As a result of the reclassification, interstate movement of cattle and bison from Minnesota will be subject to restrictions to prevent the spread of tuberculosis.

The five classification categories are accredited free, modified accredited advanced, modified accredited, accredited preparatory, and nonaccredited. Minnesota is applying to the USDA for split-state status because tuberculosis has infected herds only in a small northwestern region of the state.

The emergency USDA funding for Minnesota, Michigan, and California will go toward the depopulation of cattle herds in which officials have found tuberculosis. Funding also will enhance the surveillance of herds with tuberculosis and help determine the source of infection. Surveillance efforts will include free-ranging deer in Minnesota and Michigan, a possible source of the disease.

The USDA noted that the voluntary National Animal Identification System aims to improve the country's capabilities for tracking animal diseases, providing another opportunity to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis and minimize the impact of outbreaks on producers.