Must (not) see TB

Michigan State Roundup

Published March 1, 2006  | March 2006 issue

Just as Minnesota is coming under federal regulations to contain bovine tuberculosis (see Minnesota roundup), late last year the Upper Peninsula of Michigan finally got rid of a TB problem it never had.

The state of Michigan had its TB-free status revoked in 2000 after an outbreak of the disease spread through cattle, whitetail deer and other animals. Ranchers in the U.P. claimed they were guilty only by state association. Since 2000, about 1 million animals have been tested, including about 55,000 cattle in the U.P., and not a single positive test was found in the U.P.; among 33 cattle herds testing positive, all of them were in Lower Michigan.

Based on these results, the U.S. Department of Agriculture took the unusual step of declaring the U.P. a separate zone and then declaring that zone disease free, while TB-related restrictions continue in Lower Michigan.

Ronald A. Wirtz