Minnesota is beginning a statewide campaign to test cattle and deer for bovine tuberculosis.
The disease was found in five northwestern Minnesota herds last year. As a result the state lost federal status as a TB-free state. That makes it more difficult to sell Minnesota cattle in other states.
State Veterinarian Bill Hartmann said owners of about 1,500 herds will soon get letters explaining the testing.
"Most beef cattle producers will be working their cattle in the next three months so we'll be getting a lot of testing done over the next three months, but this is a big project and we estimate it will take us about a year to get all this done," he said.
Wild whitetail deer will also be tested for TB during this falls hunting season. Last year, TB was found in two deer in northwest Minnesota. If no cases of TB are found in cattle or deer, Minnesota will regain it's TB-free status in 2008.