State officials say the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Minnesota's application for statewide bovine tuberculosis-free status.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health announced the approval Wednesday. It comes six years after an infected beef herd was discovered in northwestern Minnesota in 2005.
Officials say with USDA approval, the status upgrade should bring relief to most Minnesota cattle producers. Status downgrades had resulted in increased testing and movement requirements for Minnesota cattle in recent years, both in-state and out.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will continue management of deer populations and surveillance of harvested wild deer in the bovine TB area until testing indicates the disease has been eliminated in deer.
The animal health board says 2010 was the first year since 2005 with no confirmed bovine TB positive wild deer detected.