CWD test results for animal connected to Pine County case and a chance to comment on the Board's farmed Cervidae rules

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

August 2020

Comment on the Board's proposed rule changes for its Cervidae program

Deer behind fence

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is asking for public participation as it goes through the process of changing its rules for farmed Cervidae (commonly called deer and elk) to help the agency better prevent and control diseases like CWD. The public can participate in the process in several ways including providing written comment, and by tuning in to the first meeting of the Farmed Cervidae Advisory Committee on Wednesday, August 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., being held virtually on Microsoft Teams. Full meeting details and how to join the meeting are posted on the Board’s rulemaking website and the final 15 minutes of the meeting will be open to public comment.

Members of the public can also provide written comments about the proposed rule changes at any time through at least September 14 (the Board will be republishing our Notice of Request for Comments to extend the comment period deadline to October 30) during this part of the rule making process. The public will have a second opportunity to comment on the rules after the Board publishes its Notice of Intent towards the end of 2020.

Join an upcoming listening session for the general public.

The Board is holding listening sessions for the general public. If you plan to make comments at these sessions, please be prepared to state your name and affiliation/interest. The following dates and times are posted for the public to join a virtual meeting either online or by phone:

Keep reading...

New resources posted for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease

The Board of Animal Health recently released a new webpage addressing Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease. The page highlights what rabbit owners can do to improve their biosecurity and protect their rabbits, it answers some frequently asked questions about RHD, and it talks about how to reduce the risk of disease transmission at animal exhibits.

CWD not detected in buck connected to Pine County investigation

Earlier this month, the final CWD exposed farmed deer in the Pine County and Douglas County CWD investigation was euthanized and the USDA confirmed CWD was not detected. The animal had been quarantined in Chisago County since the investigation began in late 2019. The herd owner agreed to USDA indemnity this summer and the quarantine was released on Monday, August 17 following the test results.

Learn about the history of the investigation in a Board news release from April 2020.

USDA set to distribute millions of RFID tags

The USDA plans to purchase up to eight million low-frequency radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags to help increase overall animal disease traceability in cattle and bison.

“USDA continues its commitment to protecting our Nation’s animal agriculture by increasing traceability in the cattle and bison sectors, in this case by providing free RFID tags to interested producers,” said Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach. “This will not only help offset the costs of switching to RFID tags, but also help us more quickly respond to potential disease events.”

In Minnesota, these RFID tags can be ordered on the Board of Animal Health website for use in replacement breeding cattle and bison at no cost to the producer.

USDA continues to receive comments and evaluate next steps on its proposed RFID transition timeline. The proposal is available for review and public comment through October 5, 2020.

Contracts for the RFID tags were awarded to three American tag companies, all compliant with the Buy American Act– Allflex (Dallas, TX), Datamars (Temple, TX), and Y-Tex (Cody, WY). Producers can also purchase RFID tags for their animals by contacting any of the companies approved to manufacture official identification RFID tags.

Next Quarterly Board Meeting

The Board of Animal Health will meet for its third quarterly meeting of 2020 on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. and will be hosted virtually on Microsoft Teams. The public can join by phone at 763-317-4323 and enter Conference ID: 168 238 278#.

The meeting agenda is subject to change and is currently as follows:

Start time 9:30 a.m.

Dean Compart
Call meeting to order
Approval of Minutes
Approval of Agenda

Beth Thompson
Board of Animal Health Update

Laura Molgaard
College of Veterinary Medicine Update

Stephan Schaefbauer
USDA Update

Greg Suskovic
Rabbit Hemmorhagic Disease Virus Update

Scott Wells
CWD Research Proposal Overview

Linda Glaser
Farmed Cervidae Task Force Update

Linda Glaser, Annie Balghiti
Farmed Cervidae Rule Making

Stacy Holzbauer
COVID-19 Update

Beth Thompson, Linda Glaser
Office of the Legislative Auditor Updates

Jerry Torrison
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Update

Lucy Hunt
Incident Management Team Actions

Dale Lauer
Poultry Update

Stacey Schwabenlander
USDA Open Comment Period on RFID Tag Transition/Timeline