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Michigan Making Strides Against Bovine TB
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Michigan has been battling to eradicate Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) since this disease re-emerged in free-ranging, white-tailed deer in 1994. Through hard work, innovation, and partnership with cattleman and state and federal partners, we have been able to make great strides in recent years against this disease that not only impacts cattle, but other animals – and humans as well.


Source: Michigan Department of Agriculture

Contact: Jennifer Holton at 517-241-2485

 

Agriculturally Speaking…..Michigan making strides against bovine TB through hard work by industry and implementation of electronic ID


By Dr. Rick Smith, bovine TB Program Manager
 
Michigan has been battling to eradicate Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) since this disease re-emerged in free-ranging, white-tailed deer in 1994. Through hard work, innovation, and partnership with cattleman and state and federal partners, we have been able to make great strides in recent years against this disease that not only impacts cattle, but other animals – and humans as well.
 
Last year, 57 counties in the Lower Peninsula were designated as Bovine TB Free in an interim rule published in the Federal Register.  Additionally, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved shrinking the state’s Bovine TB Modified Accredited Zone (MAZ) even further by removing Presque Isle County. Only Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties in the easternmost area of the northern Lower Peninsula remain in the MAZ.
 
Achieving Split State Status was a real turning point in Michigan’s bovine TB program.  It has been a long haul for our 13,000 beef and dairy producers since we started addressing this issue 17 years ago. Through hard work by beef and dairy farmers, effective surveillance testing, Radio Frequency Identification, and movement certification requirements, we are able to protect, and now open up, new market opportunities for our combined beef and dairy industries. For example, many states, including Wisconsin, are recognizing the efforts of Michigan cattlemen; and, are in the process of changing their regulations with the knowledge RFID will remain a part of Michigan’s plan.
 
Michigan leads the country and is a model state for electronic identification - to date, more than 3 million RFID tags have been purchased by our farmers to tag their cattle.   Many use the technology to track the health, vaccines, and milk production of their cattle.
 
There is no question in the minds of state veterinarians nationwide that RFID is a critical tool for disease tracking and eradication. Michigan’s overall goal with electronic identification is traceability for disease and food safety purposes.  But that doesn’t stop our progressive farmers from using this technology as a marketing tool providing extraordinary opportunities - whether it is for overseas marketing, Country of Origin Labeling or buying local – RFID can prove where the beef and dairy products came from – and we know they are Pure Michigan.
 
To order RFID tags for cattle, exhibitors may call NorthStar Cooperative at 1-888-203-3398; or the National Holstein Association at 1-800-952-5200.