NOVI, Mich.–Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) applauds the Michigan dairy and livestock producers who have worked aggressively for several years to reverse the TB designation assigned to the state nearly two decades ago. The commitment of Michigan’s farmers to protect livestock from this disease has led to 57 counties designated as Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Free.
“The TB-Free designation is welcome and long anticipated news to Michigan’s dairy industry,” MMPA President Ken Nobis said. “The State of Michigan and the agriculture industry have spent a tremendous amount of time and resources working toward the TB Free designation. We appreciate the efforts of all farmers and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to bring this designation to fruition.”
In an interim rule published in the Federal Register on September 14, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that 57 counties in the Lower Peninsula have been designated as Bovine TB Free. In addition, USDA approved the removal of Presque Isle County from the Bovine TB Modified Accredited Zone (MAZ).
“We understand the ultimate goal is have all Michigan counties designated as TB Free,” says Nobis. “By designating the 57 counties as TB Free, along with the already designated TB Free Upper Peninsula, it allows for the more effective use of limited resources to help eradicate Bovine TB from the state completely.”
Bovine TB is a contagious bacterial disease of cattle that can affect other mammals, including humans. In 1994, a unique strain of bovine TB was identified
in Michigan’s free-ranging deer. USDA has worked with Michigan’s farmers, veterinarians, Michigan State University Extension agents, Michigan’s Departments of Natural Resources and Community Health, and MDARD on statewide disease surveillance testing, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging of 1.2 million Michigan beef and dairy animals representing $9.17 billion in net worth.
“MMPA and its members is committed to providing the highest level of animal care, including the protection from contagious disease,” Nobis says. “We are proud of the efforts our members have taken to combat this problem.”
MMPA is a member-owned and operated cooperative serving over 2,100 dairy farmers throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.