MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL STAR-TRIBUNE
For the first time in 34 years, bovine tuberculosis has been found in Minnesota cattle. As animal health officials prepare to kill the exposed herd of 1,000 beef cattle in northwestern Minnesota, farmers are on edge.
If more infected herds are found, Minnesota could lose its status as TB-free, meaning big economic consequences for beef and dairy farmers who want to sell cattle out of state.
Officials are tracing the cattle that have left Roger Skime's farm near Wannaska in Roseau County for other Midwest farms.
"Dairy animals and beef animals that would be sold outside of Minnesota certainly will have to be tested if we lose our TB-free status," Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson said. "Those farmers will feel the pinch."
Skime said the tuberculosis has been confirmed in 21 head that he sacrificed for testing.
"As painful as it is, you've got to support that decision to make sure that Minnesota is an accredited state," Skime said. "Now that they found my herd infected, they're doing the right thing by investigating other possible contacts."