Minnesota bovine TB status downgradedby Greta Cunningham, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The federal government has downgraded Minnesota's status for bovine tuberculosis.
The restrictions, which begin today, mean the movement of cattle and bison from Minnesota to other states will be restricted to prevent the spread of bovine TB. The animals will be subject to increased testing and certification requirements.
Minnesota agriculture officials hope the USDA will grant the state a "split state status". That would mean only the northwestern part of the state, where the TB has been found, would have the upgraded restrictions.
Recently appointed State Bovine TB Coordinator, Joe Martin, says the news is not all bad for Minnesota.
"While this is news it's nothing that we didn't expect and it's sort of the first step in the process as we see it of really gaining our TB free status and splitting the state," said Martin.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is optimistic that the state can earn the "split state status" by this fall.
Bovine TB turned up in Minnesota in 2005, and officials have found 11 infected cattle herds since then. All have been found in Beltrami and Roseau counties in northwestern Minnesota.