Now's your chance to join the Board of Animal Health

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

November 2017

Serve on the Minnesota Board of Animal Health!

Minnesota Board of Animal Health members

The Board is comprised of three livestock producers and two licensed veterinarians. The current opening is for a livestock producer from Minnesota’s poultry industry. Applications will be collected by the Secretary of State and reviewed by Governor Mark Dayton, who makes the final selection and appointment to the position.

Applications will be reviewed on Monday, November 27, 2017.

Members of the Board serve four year terms and meet once per quarter at rotating locations throughout the state. The position includes per diem and expenses for mileage, parking, meals and lodging. Members are required to file campaign finance and disclosure forms.

Click this link to apply for the open position.

If you have questions about the application process or the Board of Animal Health, please contact Morgan Grelson (651-201-6846),

More stories of significance...

Swine Health Information Center offers support to investigate unsolved morbidity and mortality cases

As a reminder, in incidents of high or ongoing morbidity or mortality where an etiology is either not identified or there is a strong suspicion that the identified etiology is not the likely cause of the outbreak, SHIC is offering diagnostic fee support after the initial diagnostic workup is completed and paid for by the owner. In these cases, additional support for the fees of further diagnostic workup may help to identify newly introduced or emerging swine diseases. A description of the requirements, submission, and review process for the Support for Diagnostic Fees program can be found on the SHIC website by clicking this link.

USDA updates

On October 27, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service launched updated Web pages to make it easier for those involved with importing or exporting equine to understand and meet the requirements. Users can select the type of import or export desired – permanent import, temporary import, U.S. horses returning to the U.S. after an event, embryo or semen import, or export – and the country involved. The website will provide the necessary guidance and forms quickly and easily.

Click here to go to the Equine Import and Export Website for information. If you have questions while using the new pages, please contact the import staff for assistance. You can reach them by phone at 301-851-3300, option two, or by email at


Effective February 1, 2018, the identification requirements for export of U.S. breeding cattle to Canada will change. After this date, Canada will require an 840 radio frequency identification (RFID) tag AND a USA tattoo in the right ear. The USDA metal tag will no longer be accepted as an option for identification of cattle for export to Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has begun issuing import permits for breeding cattle to reflect these new requirements. The protocols and certificates for breeding cattle are updated accordingly on the APHIS IREGS website and Veterinary Export Health Certificate System.

This change will significantly reduce time during inspection at the Canadian border, as well as eliminate the need for U.S. animals to be retagged with Canadian identification upon reaching their destination in Canada.

New sculptures at the Minnesota Poultry Testing Lab

Peter Morales of St. Paul crafted "Three Galliformes at the Lab" out of St. Cloud Gray granite quarried in St. Cloud (photo below).

How big are those birds?

  • Turkey: 6,000 to 7,000 lbs. and stands 4.5 ft tall.
  • Pheasant: 500 – 600 lbs. and stands 2 ft tall.
  • Rooster: 1,020 lbs. and stands 3 ft tall.

It took Morales about 6 months from the end of January to the end of July to carve the turkey. The other two birds were created between August and October and took around 6 weeks to craft. They were installed at the MPTL on November 3 using a 40-ton crane.

Morales explains the design elements, "With respect to the type of work done at the Lab, the lines on the Turkey suggest a labyrinth. In Greek mythology, the labyrinth serves to contain and constrain a hazard (the minotaur), and is constructed in such a way that only the hero can find his or her way in or out. The eyes of the three birds have a spiral shape that represents the path of enlightenment."

New granite statues at the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory

Happy Thanksgiving!

We wish you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. We're thankful for the extraordinary people, organizations and animals we get to work with every day. Enjoy the meal and remember to thank a farmer for the food on your table.