Buyout program leads to discovery of TB positive cows
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Board of Animal Health today announced that three mature cows sent to slaughter from a buyout herd in Beltrami County tested positive for bovine tuberculosis (TB). The herd is located in the state's Modified Accred...
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Board of Animal Health today announced that three mature cows sent to slaughter from a buyout herd in Beltrami County tested positive for bovine tuberculosis (TB). The herd is located in the state's Modified Accredited Zone, within the Management Zone. This finding will not result in a downgrade of status for this area or the State.
The disease was initially detected during routine slaughter surveillance when a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) veterinarian detected suspicious lesions on three animals. Tissue samples were submitted to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, where a diagnosis of bovine TB was confirmed. The cows were systematically traced back to the herd using the Animal Movement Certificate and individual identification. The remaining cattle in the herd have been quarantined.
The Beltrami herd owner was participating in the state-funded herd buyout program, along with 45 other producers located in the Management Zone. The aim of the buyout program, authorized by legislation signed into law this year, is to eliminate herds located in the area where the disease has been known to exist.
"This positive finding validates the entire buyout program," said Minnesota Bovine TB Coordinator Joe Martin. "We have found positive herds in this area before, and we knew it might happen again, especially in older animals such as these. By removing higher risk cattle from the Management Zone and working to decrease the deer population, we are carrying out our strategy of eradicating the disease. And that's good news for everyone involved."
The Board of Animal Health has received 45 herd buyout contracts signed by cattle producers in the bovine tuberculosis (TB) Management Zone. The Board estimates that 6,800 cattle will be removed from the TB disease management area as a result of the buyout program. To date, more than half the animals have been removed. All animals that are part of the buyout must be removed from the zone or be slaughtered by January 31, 2009. Producers taking part in the buyout program will not be allowed to keep livestock in the Modified Accredited Zone.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports testing approximately 1,250 deer this fall hunting season in the northwest for the disease and did not detect any obvious cases of bovine TB in the deer sampled. "While this is encouraging news," said Michelle Carstensen, DNR Wildlife Health Program Coordinator, "Final test results are pending and should be available in early 2009." While the total number of infected deer found since 2005 remains at 24 cases, DNR plans to continue management efforts this winter to minimize the risks of this disease persisting in the local deer population.
For more information on TB, visit the State's bovine TB website at www.mntbfree.com .