Minnesota loses TB Free Status; herds depopulated
ST. PAUL -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has downgraded Minnesota's bovine tuberculosis rating. Last week, a fifth bovine TB infected herd, this one in Beltrami County, was depopulated after approval of federal indemnity funding. To date, t...
ST. PAUL -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has downgraded Minnesota's bovine tuberculosis rating.
Last week, a fifth bovine TB infected herd, this one in Beltrami County, was depopulated after approval of federal indemnity funding.
To date, the USDA has paid for the depopulation of almost 4000 head of cattle from the state's five infected herds. Federal funds have also paid for the removal of 180 exposed cattle.
Minnesota Board of Animal Health executive director and state veterinarian Dr. Bill Hartmann said the depopulation of all of the infected herds is an important step in the process of regaining the state's TB Free Status.
"The state can apply for TB Free Status two years after the last infected herd is depopulated, so it's vital that we expedite depopulation of any infected herds," said Hartmann. "We will continue to work with the USDA in an effort to accelerate the funding process to remove infected cattle."
USDA has downgraded Minnesota's bovine TB status to Modified Accredited Advanced. State cattle producers must now adhere to both federal and state testing requirements when shipping cattle.
USDA will require all breeding cattle be tested for bovine TB within 60 days of shipment. Cattle are exempt from the testing requirement, if they are moving interstate directly to an approved feedlot, slaughter or if the animals are from a TB-accredited herd.
"All Minnesota cattle producers planning to ship cattle interstate should still contact their veterinarian to determine state import requirements prior to movement," said Hartmann.
"Individual state import requirements may differ from federal requirements, so it's important to verify them prior to shipment. At this time, cattle moving within the state of Minnesota will have no additional testing requirements."
Minnesota's bovine TB investigation continues to make progress. To date, 65 herds have been quarantined as a result of the state's investigation. Thirty-nine of these herds have been removed from quarantine as testing showed no infection.
Quarantined herds are located in Cass, Beltrami, Roseau, Red Lake, Todd, Pennington, Polk, Rice, Aitkin, Nobles, Marshall, Koochiching, Chippewa, Pope, Hubbard and Kittson counties.
The previously last known case of bovine TB was in 1971. It is a chronic, slowly progressive respiratory disease that does not spread easily. Infected animals may be capable of transmitting an infection to other animals even if they appear healthy.
The following questions and answers were prepared by MBAH.
How many herds has Minnesota found infected with bovine TB?
Four beef cattle herds in Roseau County and one in Beltrami County have tested positive for bovine TB in Minnesota.
Three of the four operations have bordering pastureland. The fourth infected herd owner purchased cattle from the first TB infected herd two and a half years ago. The fifth operation sold a bull to an infected herd about two years ago.
The investigation tracing animal movements in and out of these herds is ongoing. All infected herds have been depopulated.
What will happen with Minnesota's TB status?
USDA has downgraded Minnesota's TB status to Modified Accredited Advanced. The state can apply for TB Free status two years after the last infected herd is depopulated.
How can I determine a state's import requirements?
All Minnesota cattle producers planning to ship cattle interstate should contact their veterinarian to learn the specific import requirements of each state.
At this time, cattle moving within Minnesota will have no additional testing requirements. MBAH's Web site contains contact information for each state agency in charge of cattle imports. Any import requirements the Board receives from other states are being posted there as well.
What are the federal shipping requirements?
USDA will require all breeding cattle be tested for bovine TB within 60 days of shipment. Cattle are exempt from the testing requirement if they are moving interstate directly to an approved feedlot, slaughter, or if the animals are from a TB-accredited herd.
How can my cattle herd become a TB Accredited Herd?
The requirements for a cattle herd to become a TB Accredited Herd vary with the bovine TB status of the state. With Modified Accredited Advanced status, producers must test animals 18 months and older and retest the herd nine to 15 months later.
If the herd tests negative on these two tests, the herd becomes an Accredited Herd. The herd must complete an annual bovine TB test to maintain the accreditation and follow guidelines for adding cattle to their herd.
There are benefits to becoming an Accredited Herd. For example, animals being shipped interstate from an Accredited Herd usually do not need a separate TB test within 60 days of shipment.
Am I at risk for bovine TB?
Exposure to bovine TB through the milk or meat supply is extremely unlikely. Veterinarians examine all cattle for signs of disease before they enter the slaughter plant and all carcasses are inspected during the slaughter process.
Any animal or carcass showing signs of disease are withheld from the food supply. In addition, adequate cooking destroys the tuberculosis bacteria and pasteurization kills any tuberculosis bacteria that could be in milk.