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Public meetings set on Bovine TB and new zoning orders

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New rules are being considered in an attempt to get ahead of Bovine Tuberculosis in Michigan.

Under a memorandum with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Michigan is allowed three infected cattle herds a year, but 2016 saw five infected herds.

The majority of infected cattle and deer have been found in and around Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency, and Oscoda counties.

The USDA has proposed reducing the TB status for either that area or the entire state. However more testing is required before a decision is made.

Dr. Rick Smith is with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“The issue is stopping you know this interaction of the deer with either cattle feed or with cattle, and so that the cattle aren’t coming down with infections.”

Smith said one proposal would increase biosecurity at the 130 or so farms within the core area of infection.

He said another proposal involves performing winter and summer inspections of farms outside the core area, and requiring farms to have a biosecurity plan.

Five public meetings are scheduled in January to go over the proposals. Information on the meetings is here.