Wednesday, March 20, 2024 - 01:00 am

BISMARCK, N.D. –  With the support of North Dakota’s cattle and bison industry associations, the State Board of Animal Health officially recognized those states that have earned the status as free of bovine brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis under United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) guidelines.

This recognition allows producers to buy and import beef cattle and bison from these states with reduced vaccination and testing requirements for these two diseases. Michigan remains the lone state not recognized to be free of tuberculosis due to infections in some deer populations in the northern part of the state.

“The free status recognition will allow North Dakota beef cattle and bison producers to have reciprocity with other free status states,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “U.S. producers and veterinarians have spent millions of dollars and several decades testing, monitoring and tracing to achieve this goal.”

“Brucellosis will continue to be a focus of our office with our close proximity to Yellowstone National Park,” State Veterinarian Dr. Ethan Andress said. “Elk and bison herds in the park continue to be infected with brucellosis, and elk moving out of the park are a risk to cattle herds in that area.”

The three states around the park – Idaho, Wyoming and Montana – have aggressive surveillance programs with the intent of catching any infection that may spread to cattle near the park. The area is called the Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) and cattle leaving that area require brucellosis testing. Additionally, beef processing plants in the Western states routinely test all cows moving through slaughter channels as another measure to detect early infections. 

“Tuberculosis infections are rare within domestic herds across the nation, but our industries, veterinarians and slaughter facilities are constantly surveilling for any cases that may point to a herd with infected animals,” Andress said.