Minnesota plans to embark on a one-time targeted bovine TB-testing campaign this fall to determine if the state's cattle population harbors any remaining level of bovine TB. Last year, five beef herds in northwest Minnesota were identified as bovine-TB positive, downgrading the state's status from TB-Free to Modified Accredited Advanced. A final rule on Minnesota's reduced TB status was adopted Wednesday by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), cementing the interim rule that became effective Jan. 24.

To regain its accredited free status, additional TB testing throughout the state is required. Herds will be selected for testing based on criteria developed by USDA, says the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Officials stipulate the selection "in no way implies herds have TB or have a direct link to TB-positive cattle."

"This targeted TB testing campaign is just one more step in the process of regaining Minnesota's TB-Free status," says State Veterinarian Bill Hartmann. He says if the survey finds no additional cases, Minnesota could regain its TB-free designation in early 2008. Minnesota is currently one of only four states that do not have TB-free status.

For more info, visit the BAH Web site at www.bah.state.mn.us.
-- Joe Roybal