The Minnesota Board of Animal Health today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved Minnesota’s application for statewide bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Free status, effective October 4, 2011. The approval comes six years after the discovery of an infected beef herd in July 2005.

In recent years, status downgrades have been the cause of increased testing and movement requirements for Minnesota cattle, both in-state and out. With U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval, the status upgrade will bring relief to most Minnesota cattle producers.

“The farmers in Minnesota have worked tirelessly alongside the Board of Animal Health and the USDA to eliminate this disease quickly,” said Minnesota State Veterinarian and Board of Animal Health Executive Director Dr. Bill Hartmann. “We have raised the bar in disease eradication by working together, working quickly, and working effectively. Minnesota is a model of how it should be done.”

Though Board of Animal Health requirements will be reduced for most, livestock farmer should call the state of destination prior to interstate movement of animals. Other states may require additional testing, permits, or official identification of livestock.

“With this victory comes the responsibility of the Board to ensure our state remains free of the disease. To provide extra assurance that TB is eliminated, surveillance will continue in cattle herds in the Management Zone,” said Hartmann.

Producers in the former Modified Accredited Advanced (MAA) Zone will no longer be required to obtain permits or test individual animals prior to moving cattle. An additional whole-herd test will be required of former MAA Zone herds. Producers in the smaller Management Zone will continue slightly modified testing and movement requirements.

The Department of Natural Resources will also continue management of deer populations and surveillance of hunter harvested wild deer in the bovine TB area until testing indicates that the disease has been eliminated in deer. 2010 was the first calendar year since 2005 with no confirmed bovine TB positive wild deer detected.

For additional information on Minnesota’s bovine TB response, please call the hotline at 1-877- MN TB FREE (668-2373) or visit www.mntbfree.com.