Cattle producers in Minnesota – both dairy and beef – will soon have to test all cattle 18 months and older for tuberculosis before they can be moved out of state for feeding, or breeding. That’s because USDA announced last week that the state will lose its TB-free status. The state’s new TB status will be Modified Accredited Advanced.

Last week officials discovered a fifth cattle herd infected with tuberculosis in Minnesota. Earlier this year an animal in a RoseauCounty herd tested positive for TB. That investigation turned up three other herds with infected animals – all of which could be traced to that original herd so the state retained its TB-free status. However, this fifth infected beef herd, located in BeltramiCounty, has been identified as a separate case, thus the change in TB status.

“The goal of this investigation is to find all of the disease and eliminate it,” says Bill Hartmann state veterinarian and executive director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. “The Minnesota Board of Animal Health will continue to work as swiftly as possible through this entire investigation in order to expedite the process of regaining our bovine TB Free Status. In two years, we can apply for reinstatement of our TB-Free Status, if no additional infection is detected.”           

Minnesota’s bovine TB investigation continues to make substantial progress. To date, 42 herds have been quarantined as a result of the state’s bovine TB investigation. Thirty-two of these operations have been removed from quarantine as testing showed no infection in the herd. Of the ten remaining; four herds are infected (three have been depopulated) and six herds are in the process of completing testing. Counties with quarantined herds include Roseau, Beltrami, Polk, Clearwater, and Todd.

The Board, along with the USDA Veterinary Services (VS), is offering free bovine Tuberculosis (TB) testing to any cattle operation located within 15 miles of a TB infected herd. Producers located within this testing radius should contact their local veterinarian or the Board to discuss having their entire herd tested for bovine TB. The state will pay for all veterinary fees.

The state of Minnesota has been involved in TB eradication programs since 1917, with the last known case in 1971. For more information on TB, investigation updates, and the agency, visit the Board’s Web site at www.bah.state.mn.us.

MinnesotaBoard of Animal Health, MinneapolisStar Tribune