In an effort to protect Minnesota cattle herds, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health will require bovine tuberculosis tests on cattle imported from Mexico and cattle imported for rodeo or timed events, effective immediately.
MBAH now requires cattle being brought into Minnesota for rodeos or timed events (e.g. calf roping, steer wrestling) to test negative to an official TB test 12 months prior to importation. Mexican cattle will require two negative TB tests. A USDA accredited veterinarian must perform the second test 60 days prior to importation into Minnesota.
"Mexico is currently working to eradicate bovine TB so there is some concern that Mexican cattle are at an elevated risk for infection," says Bill Hartmann, MBAH executive director and state veterinarian. "And given the longevity of animals trained for rodeo and roping events, their considerable movement, and their exposure to other animals, it is believed that rodeo and roping cattle could transmit bovine TB."
Approximately 1100 Minnesota cattle herds have been tested for TB as part of Statewide Bovine TB Surveillance. These herds are part of a testing campaign, aimed at locating and eliminating any infection that might remain in the state and bringing Minnesota closer to regaining TB Free status. By the end of the year, the State hopes to have 1,500 herds tested.
"As Minnesota works to regain TB-Free Status, cattle may be TB-tested for a number of reasons: the statewide surveillance campaign, the disease investigation, interstate movement, or exhibition," says Hartmann. "In all, nearly 280,000 TB tests have been performed since the disease was discovered in Minnesota in July 2005. While this number is valuable in verifying the elimination of the disease, we must also remember that this testing has resulted in an increased burden for the state's cattle producers. As we work together to eliminate the disease and regain our status, it is important that we do everything within our means to prevent its reintroduction."
More information on bovine TB in Minnesota and the testing campaign can be found at www.bah.state.mn.us by clicking Bovine Tuberculosis under the Hot Topics menu or by calling the Minnesota TB Hotline at 1-877-MN TB FREE (668-2373).