N.D. imposes more tests for Minnesota livestock producers
North Dakota will impose stricter testing requirements on Minnesota producers who want to bring livestock into the state. The North Dakota Board of Animal Health today ordered the new rules to kick in immediately in response to an outbreak of bov...
North Dakota will impose stricter testing requirements on Minnesota producers who want to bring livestock into the state.
The North Dakota Board of Animal Health today ordered the new rules to kick in immediately in response to an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis across the border in Roseau County and a corner of Beltrami County in northwestern Minnesota.
"We're not surprised," said Deb Dahlke, executive director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association, "We have been advising our members of this scenario that this could very well happen."
Dahlke said Minnesota producers are being told to get whole-herd disease testing completed before hauling livestock across state lines.
The North Dakota order, signed today by Nathan Boehm, president of animal health board, pertains to all cattle, bison, goats, farmed elk and llamas coming into the state from Minnesota.
The order says Minnesota producers must get an importation permit prior to entry into the state and all individual animals must be accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection.
They also must have had a negative whole-herd TB test within 12 months and 60 days of shipment for cattle, bison, goats and llamas. Elk must be tested within 90 days of importation. If the whole herd is tested within 60 days, no additional testing is required.
The requirements are less stringent if Minnesota animals originate from a so-called "TB accredited free" herd.
The new rules largely mimic stiffer rules that could be imposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Minnesota. Even if Minnesota attains a split-state designation from the USDA, making all but its northwestern corner exempt from stiffer federal requirements, the entire state would be effected equally if importing to North Dakota.
The USDA requirements may not take effect for weeks or months, while the North Dakota order is effective immediately.
Tom Pyfferoen, president of the Minnesota association, said other neighboring states have not been as strict with cattle imports from his state. For instance, Iowa requires no testing for Minnesota livestock, he said.
"North Dakota has kind of been out front on this one," Pyfferoen said. "Those other states have been firm but fair; I don't think North Dakota is being fair."
Since October 2007, four beef cattle herds in the northwest Minnesota have tested positive for the highly contagious respiratory disease. All were found within a TB management zone set up by the state in southern Roseau and northwestern Beltrami Counties.
The heart of the zone is about 90 miles northeast of Grand Forks.
Producers typically face more expenses in the form of testing fees and veterinarian time when stricter requirements are imposed. It costs about $10 per animal for a TB test and about $5 to $10 per animal in veterinarian fees.
Pyfferoen, who ranches in southeastern Minnesota near Rochester, said that most Minnesota cattle headed to North Dakota pass through auction markets in West Fargo.
"Those guys (producers) up in northern Minnesota are going to get clobbered with this," Pyfferoen said of North Dakota's actions. "I think it's an over-reaction.
Minnesota had been bovine TB free for about 30 years, until July 2005, when a beef cattle herd near Salol, Minn., in Roseau County tested positive for the disease. Since then 10 others in roughly the same area have tested the same.
North Dakota has been rid of the disease since the early 1980s, according to Wade Moser, executive vice president of the state Stockmen's Association.
Reach Dodds at (701) 780-1110, (800) 477-6572; ext. 110, or at email@example.com .