2024 externship applications open and a new member on the Board

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

November 2023

HPAI continues to simmer in Minnesota


The fall 2023 wave of HPAI began on October 11 and it isn't scorching the state with numerous new positives, nor is it quietly receding like the hours of daylight. New cases have averaged around one or two per week since that first detection in Meeker County. In response to the steady caseload, the state increased its response personnel to include other agencies like the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, yet is stopping short of calling for a full scale USDA response team. There are a combination of factors at play keeping this HPAI wave and our response hovering around the average.

Since the initial spring 2022 HPAI outbreak, when positive cases were often confirmed in the double digits, staff have become better trained and more proficient in their response roles. Farmers have doubled down on their biosecurity efforts and improvised new ways to bolster their defenses and keep their flocks healthy. The only unknown remains how the virus will behave in the future.

Researchers and epidemiologists continue pulling together data from the outbreak and finding ways we can all improve for the next introduction. Unfortunately, there is no single answer to stop the spread of avian influenza. It requires each of us utilizing our own specific strengths and experiences to keep our neighbors' flocks healthy.

You can find the latest case counts and additional data on the Board's response to HPAI on our website.

Keep reading...

Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Report published

Each year the Board of Animal Health is required to publish an annual report summarizing it's work during the previous fiscal year, which spans July 1 to June 30 of each year. All data and narratives contained in this report apply to work done before June 30, 2023. Some highlights from this edition include:

  • Summary of the Board's response to Minnesota canine influenza outbreak.
  • Overview of the state's continued response to HPAI.
  • Discussion on some overlooked equine exhibition regulations and working with horse owners to regain compliance.
  • Breakdowns of compliance actions, budget and animal movement data.

Read or download the full Annual Report on our website.

Veterinary students can apply for 2024 extern rotations today

The Board offers non-paid externships for students studying veterinary medicine to supplement their formal education with first-hand experience protecting public and animal health. Our externship program is designed to offer students an opportunity to work with the animal agriculture industry and the role our staff play in managing programs to control and eradicate animal disease.

Selected students will accompany state or federal animal health officials on pre-selected two-week rotations in 2024. Minimum qualifications include enrollment in an accredited university, using the experience to fulfill academic credits, and being able to provide their own transportation to assigned activities.

Review the full qualifications and apply for a 2024 externship rotation with the Board.

New Board member appointed

Governor Tim Walz appointed a new member to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health this week. Dr. Abigail Maynard will serve a four year term in the brand new position of Licensed Veterinarian Specializing in Companion Animals.

The Board meets for its fourth and final meeting of 2023 next month.