MDARD designates two bovine tuberculosis testing areas

Source: Farm Progress. The original article is posted here.

MDARD designates two bovine tuberculosis testing areas

Due to the detection of bovine tuberculosis in wild deer from Benzie, Crawford and Otsego counties during the 2023 deer hunting season, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Tim Boring has designated two bovine TB testing areas. One area includes specific portions of Benzie and Manistee counties, and the other includes portions of Crawford and Otsego counties. Testing all the cattle and bison herds within these areas will help to protect animal health, public health, and market access for Michigan's cattle, meat, and milk products.

"Whenever there is a bovine TB-positive wild deer found outside of the counties where the disease is known to be endemic, it is part of MDARD's routine response to test all cattle and bison herds within a 10-mile radius of that deer s location," said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DACVPM. "Completing the testing will help Michigan maintain its split-state status and ensure these animals have not contracted the disease. The testing is just one part of MDARD s comprehensive Bovine TB Program, which steadily works toward the eradication of the disease."

Bovine TB is a bacterial disease that can affect all mammals, including humans. Michigan has two zones as part of the National Tuberculosis Eradication Program: the bovine TB free zone (also called the Accredited Free Zone), which includes 95 percent of the state, and the Modified Accredited Zone , a four-county area in the northeastern Lower Peninsula. As required by MDARD's Memorandum of Understanding with the USDA and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in order to maintain this split-state status for bovine TB, a bovine TB testing area must be designated around where TB-positive wild deer are harvested outside of the MAZ.

Since the testing area for Benzie and Manistee counties was not currently within Michigan's existing bovine TB testing area or the counties surrounding this area, Public Act 466 required MDARD to hold a public hearing in that region to explain the proposed testing order and accept comments. The proposed order and the comments received were then presented to the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development for review during their meeting on May 15. The order to designate this testing area was approved.

The other testing area for Crawford and Otsego counties did not require the public hearing process because of the zoning order already in place for the counties surrounding the MAZ.

All affected producers within these testing areas will be receiving letters providing more details on the testing requirements and how to schedule the testing.

For more information on bovine TB and Michigan s Bovine TB Program, please visit MDARD's website .

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