Two new Board members and a study explores the livestock veterinary shortage

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

July 2023

White-tailed deer oversight transfers to the DNR

White tailed deer

On July 1, 2023, the white-tailed deer program officially moved to the Department of Natural Resources, which is now responsible for administering and enforcing statutes and rules governing ownership of farmed white-tailed deer.

The Board of Animal Health retains the responsibility for administering and enforcing laws regulating all other farmed Cervidae species.

The following changes went into effect on July 1:

  • All farmed Cervidae 6 months of age and older that die or are slaughtered must be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
  • A person must not import live Cervidae into the state from a state or province where CWD has been detected in the farmed or wild cervid population in the last five years unless that animal tests negative for CWD with a validated live-animal test. Currently, there is not a live-animal test for CWD that has been validated.
  • Live Cervidae or Cervidae semen must originate from a herd that has been subject to a CWD herd certification program and has reached the highest certification status.

Keep reading...

Study explores the livestock veterinarian shortage

Not all veterinarians care for dogs and cats. Some of the most important and often unseen veterinarians are involved in our food supply chains. These "food animal veterinarians” care for the health and welfare of livestock raised for food production. They are also the sentinels for infectious diseases, which contributes to the health of everyone.

However, there has been a lingering shortage of veterinarians in this pivotal career. These jobs are especially important as society's demand for safe, high quality animal protein is on the rise. Read the full study online.

Canine influenza

USDA seeking input on CWD Herd Certification Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is holding five virtual listening sessions on the Chronic Wasting Disease Herd Certification Program standards in the next few months. The Zoom listening sessions are for anyone to offer insights into the future direction of the program, methods for increasing enrollment, biosecurity, CWD prevention, barriers, and other options for preventing interactions between farmed and wild cervids.

The listening sessions are scheduled and details of each are outlined below:

  • July 27, 2023, at 11:00 a.m.
    • The overall direction of the program.
    • Increasing herd certification program participation.
    • Biosecurity.
    • Prevention of contact between farmed and wild cervids.
    • Prevention of CWD not including genetics.
  • August 10, 2023, at 2:00 p.m.
    • Animal identification.
    • Electronic ID.
    • Annual and physical inspections.
    • Inspection and inventory.
  • August 17, 2023, at 1:00 p.m.
    • Surveillance.
    • Use of ante-mortem tests.
    • Postmortem sampling.
    • Penalties for HCP non-compliance.
  • August 24, 2023, at 12:00 p.m.
    • Disease response including use of predictive genetics to manage CWD positive, suspect, and exposed herds.
  • September 14, 2023, at 2:00 p.m.
    • Indemnity approach, including role of indemnity in predictive genetics herd management.
    • Use of predictive genetics to prevent CWD within the HCP.

For more information on this or other listening sessions or to register for them, please visit USDA’s CWD topic page. If you would like to speak on one or more of the session topics, please indicate this on the registration form. The deadline to register to speak at the first listening session is July 20, 2023. The deadline to register for the remaining sessions will be one week prior to each session. Registration instructions and updated session information can be accessed on the Cervid Health Program website. Comments will be limited to 3 to 5 minutes depending on the number of requests to speak.

New Board members appointed

Two new members were appointed to the Board of Animal Health on July 3.

Steve Neil – Northfield, MN 

Livestock Producer 

Term Expires: January 4, 2027 

Replacing: Dean Compart 


Brandon Schafer – Goodhue, MN 

Livestock Producer 

Term Expires: January 4, 2027 

Replacing: Jim Vagts