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Rachel Iadicicco  (301) 734-3255
Karen Eggert       (202) 690-4178

USDA AMENDS REGULATIONS REGARDING MINNESOTA’S BOVINE TUBERCULOSIS STATUS

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2008–The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is amending its bovine tuberculosis (TB) regulations regarding state and zone classifications by removing Minnesota from the list of modified accredited advanced states and adding it to the list of modified accredited states.

As a result of Minnesota’s reclassification as a modified accredited state, the interstate movement of cattle and bison moving from Minnesota will be restricted, according to federal regulations, in order to prevent the spread of tuberculosis.  Increased TB testing and certification requirements will affect all cattle and bison moving interstate except those animals moving to slaughter or originating from accredited herds.

Prior to this interim rule, Minnesota was designated as modified accredited advanced.  Federal regulations for accredited status are based on the prevalence of TB in a state or zone, and four TB-infected herds have recently been detected in Minnesota.  To qualify as modified accredited advanced, a state or zone with fewer than 30,000 cattle herds—such as Minnesota—may have up to three affected herds for each of the most recent 2 years. 

APHIS classifies states or zones within states according to its level of occurrence of bovine TB.  There are five classification designations:  accredited free; modified accredited advanced; modified accredited, accredited preparatory and nonaccredited.  Restrictions on the interstate movement of cattle become less stringent as a state approaches or achieves accredited free status.

Bovine TB is a contagious and infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium bovis.  It affects cattle, bison, deer, elk, goats and other warm-blooded species and can be fatal.  The disease can be transmitted to humans through direct contact with infected animals or consumption of raw milk.  It is not transmitted through consumption of pasteurized milk.

The interim rule will be effective upon publication in the April 9 Federal Register.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before June 9.

Send two copies of postal mail or commercial delivery comments to Docket No. APHIS-2008-0037, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.  If you wish to submit a comment using the Internet, go to the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2008-0037

Comments are posted on the Reglations.gov Web site and may also be reviewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th St. and Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C., between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.  To facilitate entry into the comment reading room, please call (202) 690-2817.

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