May 2, 2008
May 2, 2008 -- The Minnesota Senate on April 23 unanimously passed a bill to fund the bovine tuberculosis (TB) eradication effort.
The bill includes $3.3 million for cattle herd buyouts, annual payments and fencing cost-share assistance and $2.6 million for the Minnesota Board of Animal Health for monitoring, testing, education and outreach efforts related to the eradication of bovine TB. An additional $230,000 is included to fund research at North Central Research Center in Grand Rapids to study the best management practices to control bovine TB in pasture.
The bill would offer cattle producers a buyout option that gives them $500 on top of market value for adult animals slaughtered, plus a $75 annual payment. Producers who take the buyout offer can not have cattle in the bovine TB management zone until the area receives a bovine TB-free status and the owner is authorized by the board to have cattle.
Producers must accept or decline the offer by July 15 and animals must be slaughtered by Jan. 31. The exception is calves born this year.
Calves born this year must be either slaughtered or moved out of the TB management zone for finishing by Jan. 31. The animals must be spayed or neutered before moving to a feedlot. Producers would receive the $500 plus market value plus the $75 per year payment for these animals.
The legislation has a few legislative hurdles to clear before heading to the governor. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has expressed support for the bill, Sen. Steve Dille said.