Companion animals and SARS-CoV-2, plus an update on farmed cervidae rulemaking

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes


Special Alert: New COVID-19 Executive Orders in effect until December 18. Click here to view the current Stay Safe Minnesota Plan


November 2020

Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline: always available to call, text or email

Farmer Stress Bulletin

Feeling stressed after the harvest? Unsure how things are going to look next spring and feeling anxious? There are experts available to talk through these and many more questions or concerns. The Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline has never been easier to reach:

Need a handout to print and share? Follow this link to a brochure from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture with more details on support and more.

Keep reading...

Companion animals and SARS-CoV-2: what veterinarians and their clients need to know

At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. More studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.

It appears that in some situations, especially after close contact with a person with COVID-19, people can spread the virus to animals. Animal owners should take precautions to prevent transmission to their pets if they're sick, have tested positive for, or have been exposed to COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends:

  • Do not let pets interact with people outside your household.
  • Walk dogs on a leash at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible and do not let them roam freely outside.
  • Do not put masks on pets. Covering a pet’s face could harm them.
  • Do not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any other products not approved for animal use.
  • Although we know certain bacteria and fungi can be carried on fur and hair, there is no evidence that viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets.

Veterinarians should contact the Board for approval prior to testing domestic animals for SARS-CoV-2. Veterinary clinics should continue to follow state and federal guidelines to protect their staff and clients.

Additional resources:

Updates on the Farmed Cervid Rulemaking Process

  • The next meeting of the farmed cervid advisory committee is Monday, November 30, 2020 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Join on your computer or Microsoft Teams mobile app. Or dial 763-317-4323 to join by phone. If prompted, enter: 892 845 527#
  • Our proposed timetable for publishing the Notice of Intent to Adopt the Rules is being pushed from December to January 2021.
  • We continue to develop the rules draft, review submitted public comments, and work with our advisory committee.
  • The first formal comment period closed on October 30 at 4:30 p.m. The second opportunity for public comment will open when we publish our Notice of Intent to Adopt the Rules.
  • View submitted comments on our Public Rule Making website under the "Current Rulemaking" section.
  • Please don't hesitate to reach out to the advisory committee members that represent your interests in this rulemaking.

Order your RFID tags now for spring calves

The U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to offer a limited number of '840' prefix Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) ear tags at no cost. These tags are only for use in replacement heifers (dairy or beef). All available "840" RFID ear tags are white button half duplex tags.

Producers should order the number of tags you'll need for replacement heifers for one year. Veterinarians may order a quantity appropriate to their practice. There's currently a shipping delay on tags so it's a good idea to order ahead.

Click here to order today!

First Breeder of Excellence in Minnesota

The Breeder Excellence Program launched on July 1, 2020 to recognize people who demonstrate commercial breeder excellence and exceed the standards and practices required of commercial breeders in Minnesota.

Fieldstone Kennels has been recognized as the first Breeder of Excellence after completing all program requirements and earning badges in all five program areas.

Fieldstone Kennels exemplary standards and practices are a credit to Minnesota’s Commercial Dog and Cat Breeder Licensing Program and Minnesota commercial breeders. Congratulations and keep up the great work!

Learn more about the program on our website.

New online feedlot registration

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency launched a new, online service for registering livestock feedlots in Minnesota.

The new online feedlot registration system replaces the previous paper and e-mail forms process. Fast and easy to use, it can be accessed 24/7 using a computer, smart phone, or mobile device. Registration includes basic feedlot information such as location, type of operation, and number of livestock.

Minnesota’s estimated 18,000 registered feedlots with 50 or more animal units, or 10 or more located in a shoreland area, must be registered with the state. They must update their feedlot information with the MPCA or delegated county feedlot program every four years. The next deadline for updating feedlot registration is Dec. 31, 2021.

Registration helps the MPCA to work with feedlot owners to help protect the natural environment. It also helps in budgeting for technical and financial assistance. It started with the major revision of the 7020 feedlot rule in 2000, and replaced the need for operating permits for most feedlots.

For more information about feedlot registration and the online registration system, visit the MPCA’s website, or call your MPCA area office or delegated county feedlot officer.

Next Quarterly Board Meeting - December 9

Find information on how to join the meeting virtually on our website.

Agenda as of November 19*

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

Kara Schmidt
Budget Update

Peder Kjeseth
Legislative Update

To be announced
USDA Update

To be announced
Feral Swine Control in Minnesota

Laura Molgaard
College of Veterinary Medicine Update

Stacey Schwabenlander
Power BI TB Dashboard Demonstration

Michelle Carstensen
CWD in Wild Deer Update

Linda Glaser
Houston County CWD Positive Herd Update

Linda Glaser, Annie Balghiti
Farmed Cervidae Rule Making Update

Jerry Torrison
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Update

Joni Scheftel
COVID-19 Update

Shauna Voss
Poultry Update

*Agenda subject to change prior to meeting.