Gov. Mark Dayton has declared today, Dec. 7, 2011, as TB-Free Day in Minnesota. The declaration marks the end of a six-year battle in the state to eradicate bovine tuberculosis and regain its TB-Free status.
In making the declaration, Dayton acknowledged the dedication shown by Minnesota livestock farmers, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, the Minnesota Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, agricultural groups, state legislators and numerous other state agencies over the past six years.
With the help of nearly 500 veterinarians, Minnesota producers tested 758,929 head of cattle and bison for bovine TB over the past six years, while the Board of Animal Health tracked thousands of animal movements, ensuring effective animal traceability.
Dayton said the state’s cattle producers contributed nearly $1 million to help support bovine TB eradication efforts.
Approximately 14 miles of deer exclusion fencing was erected on northwest Minnesota farms in the management zone to stop the spread of bovine TB; andMinnesota deer hunters worked with the Minnesota DNR to test 13,841 wild deer for the bacterial disease. Of the deer tested, 9,738 were from northwest Minnesota, and the remaining 4,058 were from outside the zone as part of a statewide surveillance.
The Board of Animal Health has maintained some requirements for cattle and bison herds in the management zone, while the DNR will continue to manage deer populations and conduct surveillance of hunter-harvested wild deer in the area until testing indicates the disease has been eliminated in deer.
“The hard work and dedication of many people have brought us to this great day — reclaiming Minnesota’s statewide TB-Free status,” said Gov. Dayton, adding that bovine TB was eliminated in record time. “I want to thank the Board of Animal Health, the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Farmers Union and everyone else who participated in this tremendous effort to protect Minnesota agriculture and make us TB-Free.”