(AP) - State animal health officials have completed testing 1,500 of the state's cattle herds for bovine tuberculosis and found no new cases.
The Board of Animal Health says the sample was big enough to conclude that the disease is not widespread in the state. It has only been found in the northwest corner.
The board says testing started in September 2006 as part of a plan to eliminate the disease from the state's livestock and wildlife populations.
Bovine TB is highly contagious among cattle. Milk pasteurization has helped reduce the number of human cases.
Before the latest outbreak was detected in July 2005, the state had been free of the cattle disease since 1971.
Minnesota can't apply to the federal Agriculture Department for accreditation as TB free until two years after its last infected herd is eliminated.
Without the TB-free designation, it costs ranchers about $10 for additional testing for every animal they ship out of state.
Testing will continue in northwest Minnesota.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)