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All Minnesota Cattle Officially TB-Free

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- State officials said Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) has been eradicated in Minnesota.

It has been six years since the first TB‐infected beef cattle herd was detected in July 2005 in northwestern Minnesota.

Experts also found the disease in wild deer in the same area.

Since then, livestock farmers and other agriculture and animal health departments have worked hard to save what they said was a cattle industry in peril. More than 800,000 TB tests have been done around the state and nearly 14 miles of fencing was installed in the Management Zone to reduce the interaction between deer and cattle. The state spent $14 million on the effort.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture certified Minnesota's cattle herds as "TB-free" and Gov. Mark Dayton declared it TB Free Day.

At a ceremony in Dayton's office, the health department said entire herds in northwestern Minnesota were destroyed to contain the disease.

Cattle ranchers said the loss was emotional and financial.

"You ride (by them) on your horse. you ride (by them) on your four wheeler. You drive through them with your pickup every single day, including Sundays and snowstorms. And all of a sudden the next day (the cattle) are all gone ... just imagine what's that's like," said Steve Brake, a rancher from Wilmont, Minn.

Now that the state is officially TB-free, it makes it easier for producers to move their cattle across state lines and relaxes an aggressive testing regime for most areas.


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