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Published February 19, 2008, 12:00 AM

New case of bovine TB in Beltrami County (Minnesota) could mean downgrade of state's status

ST. PAUL (AP) - Another case of bovine tuberculosis has been found in Minnesota - this time in a beef cattle herd in Beltrami County.

ST. PAUL (AP) - Another case of bovine tuberculosis has been found in Minnesota - this time in a beef cattle herd in Beltrami County.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health says this is the fourth herd since October to test positive for bovine TB. It's the 11th infected herd found in the state since bovine TB was discovered here in 2005.

Officials worry the latest case could mean a downgrade of Minnesota's bovine TB status. The U.S. Department of Agriculture prescribes a downgrade when more than three herds are discovered to have bovine TB within a 12 month period.

If the downgrade happens, Minnesota cattle would be rated two steps down from the highest level of TB-free. State producers would have to adhere to stricter federal and state testing when shipping cattle or bison.

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