2019 loan repayment opportunities and authorized CWD sample collector trainings

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

March 2019

A note from Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on sheep and goat tags


The following is an announcement from APHIS:

In response to feedback from and collaboration with the sheep and goat industry, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will provide a limited number of free, plastic tags to first time participants in the sheep and goat identification program through fiscal year (FY) 2020. APHIS is working with the sheep and goat organizations to transition toward electronic identification to improve our nation’s ability to quickly trace exposed and diseased animals in the event of an outbreak. Our goal is to start to transition to electronic identification by fall 2020.

Currently, APHIS will provide up to 80 plastic flock ID tags, free-of-charge, to qualifying producers (those producers should request the number of tags they need in the next two years). APHIS will discontinue the availability of no-cost metal tags for producers. Dealers and markets may continue to receive metal serial tags at no cost. The no-cost metal tags previously provided to producers will be phased out in summer 2019, when the currently obligated funding is expended.

During the phase out, APHIS will continue to provide, upon request, up to 100 serial metal tags free of charge to producers (regular orange metal serial tags) who haven’t received APHIS-provided tags within the previous 24 months. For those that use the APHIS-provided tags, please note that you also need an applicator as well (see purchasing information on the 505S applicator below).

Producers and others who handle sheep or goats in commerce who need additional tags or want a different type of tag may purchase official plastic, metal or radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags directly from approved tag manufactures. A flock or Premises ID is required to order tags from these sources.

To request official sheep and goat tags, a flock ID or both, call 1-866-USDA-Tag (866-873-2824).

The 505S applicator for the official metal tags is available for purchase from the National Band and Tag Company at (859) 261-2035. The “Allflex Universal Tagger” for application of the plastic tags provided by APHIS is available for purchase from multiple sources including directly from Allflex at (833) 727-2743. A list of approved sheep and goat tag manufacturers is on the APHIS Scrapie Program website.

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2019 Request for Applications for Loan Repayment Program

The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) announced 2019 Applications are now being accepted.

The VMLRP helps qualified veterinarians repay their student loans in exchange for working in defined shortage areas around the country. Loan repayments may reach up to $25,000 per person each year of their agreement.

Applicants can use the USDA NIFA website map to locate shortage areas open in Minnesota. The application deadline is close of business on Friday, April 12.

Cervid Advisory Task Force Meeting

The next meeting for the Cervid Advisory Task Force is Tuesday, March 19 at the Buffalo Community Center, 206 Central Avenue in Buffalo, Minnesota. The meeting is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The following are tentative agenda items subject to change prior to the start of the meeting.

Agenda items:

  • Legislative update by the Board of Animal Health.
  • Legislative updates from the Minnesota Deer Farmers Association and Minnesota Elk Breeders Association.
  • Update from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Update on Department of Natural Resources activities.

Authorized CWD sample collector trainings announced

The Board of Animal Health is requiring all individuals that collect tissue samples from farmed cervids to test for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) become authorized by the Board.

You must be registered for this meeting to attend the training
To register, contact Melissa Uchytil at 320-905-3783

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Bemidji High School
2900 Division Street W
Bemidji, MN 56601
Room 1256 (Second Floor)

6:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
St. Cloud Library
1300 W St. Germain Street
St. Cloud, MN 56301
Bremer Community Room 104

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
St. Peter Community Center
600 South 5th Street
St. Peter, MN 56082
St. Peter Room 217

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Northrop Community Education Center
201 8th Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Room 308

If you have any questions about these trainings or would like more information, please contact the farmed cervid program staff at 651-201-6804 or email us at farmed.cervidae@state.mn.us.  There will be opportunity for questions and discussion about the farmed cervid program after the training is completed.

New One Health Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's One Health Office has two new resources on its Healthy Pets, Healthy People website for veterinarians and healthcare providers. Veterinarians can brush up on specific diseases and guidelines and recommendations to name a few.  Healthcare providers have zoonotic resources and highlighted publications to peruse. Check out the specific links below.

Veterinarians: https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/specific-groups/veterinarians.html

Healthcare Providers: https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/specific-groups/healthcare-providers.html