New carcass disposal resource webpage and seasonal biosecurity reminders for poultry producers

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

board of animal health

Animal Bytes

April 2020

New COVID-19 resources available

Map of carcass disposal contacts

Contact our experts

The Board teamed up with other state agencies and pulled together a new Emergency Carcass Disposal Resources webpage for producers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This page is designed to give producers background information on the carcass disposal process and encourage them to get in touch with our field staff experts to talk about solutions for their specific situation. There are also resources for farmers and their families to address additional stresses they face in this pandemic.

Click here to access the Emergency Carcass Disposal page.

Stay Home Executive Order extended to May 4

Find all of the latest information on the Stay Home extension on the State of Minnesota COVID-19 website.

Downloadable COVID-19 material:

Keep reading...

Seasonal Avian Influenza Detection and Biosecurity Reminder 

On April 9, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial turkeys in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in commercial poultry since 2017. This detection should serve as a reminder that poultry in Minnesota are also at risk and that producers should review their current biosecurity plans and practices. Minnesota poultry producers do not need a repeat of the awful HPAI H5N2 outbreak Minnesota experienced in 2015.

The keys to detecting and preventing avian influenza in Minnesota are:

  1. KNOW THE SIGNS. Any unexplained increase in mortality, decreased egg production, quiet or depressed birds, respiratory or neurologic (twisted necks or quiet) signs of disease should be investigated. Make sure the people who work with your birds daily (either you or your workers) know what to look for. If you find one or two dead birds in in your flock for a couple days in a row, and you cannot explain their death, contact your veterinarian, even if all other birds look fine. For more information on influenza, see the links below.
  2. REPORT WHAT YOU’RE SEEING. Call your veterinarian to describe the signs in your flock so together next steps can be taken. If you do not have a veterinarian call the Board at 320-231-5170.
  3. SUBMIT SAMPLES FOR TESTING. Samples for official avian influenza testing must be collected by an accredited veterinarian or individuals trained and certified as authorized poultry testing agents. The Minnesota Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza Response Plan requires 30 pooled tracheal swab samples from each barn when birds are showing signs of disease consistent with influenza. Always collect samples from dead birds before others. Every grower should calculate the number of tracheal swab supplies (BHI tubes and swabs) needed to sample flocks within your operation. Call the MPTL (320-231-5170) or email to get supplies at no cost! Samples should be submitted to the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL). When collecting samples in these situations, please call ahead to the MPTL to notify when samples will arrive.
  4. PREVENT EXPOSURE. Follow your biosecurity plan. Biosecurity can prevent avian influenza if you use it consistently. Pay special attention to the line of separation. Carefully follow safe entry and exit procedures into your flock. Spring weather can make these procedures difficult because of mud, rain, wind and other shifting weather conditions. At the same time, puddles and other standing water may attract waterfowl to get even closer to barns. This is the time to really focus on safe barn entries. Make sure garbage and dead birds are picked up outside of your perimeter buffer area. One of the most common ways HPAI moves around is through the movement of dead birds and garbage off the farm.
  5. IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Remind everyone you talk to about their role in your farm’s biosecurity. Evaluate your risks, ask questions and participate in protecting your flocks.

 For more information, please visit the following websites:

Certificate of Veterinary Inspection not required for semen imports

A Certificate of Veterinary Inspection is not required to import semen into the state of Minnesota. If livestock producers are requesting a CVI from their accredited veterinarian for the interstate movement of semen into another state, call the state of destination to determine is a CVI is required.

Limited availability of RFID tags

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering a limited number of '840' prefix Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) ear tags. These tags are only for use in replacement heifers (dairy or beef). All available “840” RFID ear tags are white button half duplex tags. Orders for these tags can be placed by visiting the Board’s website. Ear tag applicators are not included with a tag order and must be purchased from a tag manufacturer. The USDA is sending tags from several manufacturers. Tags will need to be reviewed upon receipt to determine which manufacturer should be contacted to order the appropriate applicator. Do not use an incorrect applicator because it could damage the tags.

Tag orders are shipped on a first come first served basis and there are currently multi-week delays on delivery.

APHIS proposes national reportable disease list

The USDA is proposing a new National List of Reportable Animal Diseases (NLRAD) to further strengthen the country’s ability to detect, respond to and control animal diseases. The new list will provide a consolidated, comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure Federal and State animal health officials quickly receive information about potential cases of communicable animal diseasesThis helps ensure that serious diseases are reported earlier, which can help speed our response time and lessen the overall impact on producers and the economy.

The proposed list spells out exactly which animal diseases need to be reported to Federal and State officials, how quickly they need to be reported, who needs to report them, and to whom they need to report them.

APHIS is seeking public comment on this proposed rule for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. All comments will be considered before moving forward.

Online Permit Request Form Available for Imported Cattle, Bison, Restricted Movement Feeder Sheep and Goats

To better support out-of-state veterinarians needing import permits for breeding and exhibition cattle and bison and restricted movement feeder sheep and goats, the Board now has an online permit request form. The form is available on the Board’s website. This form also outlines what groups of livestock require import permits. Import requirements can also be found on the Board’s website by clicking on the menu item ‘Animal Movement’ and selecting ‘Imports’ or by visiting