Cattle from Minnesota have new hoops to jump through, as Wisconsin agriculture officials impose tough new restrictions. The new rules are place because of a change in Minnesota's bovine tuberculosis status, where state animal health inspectors have found eleven TB-infected herds since mid-2005. Donna Gilson with the Wisconsin Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer protection says the Dairy State can't afford to take any chances. "It's going to be a hardship or at least an inconvenience for producers, but it's just something we feel we have to do, because our TB free status is so important, not only to our individual producers, but to our economy as a whole," said Gilson. "We are the Dairy State, we've got a lot to lose here if we were ever to get TB."
The Ag department has put in place new permitting and testing requirements . In addition, cattle brought from Minnesota will need to be quarantined on the farm, and retested sixty to ninety days after arrival. Despite the new restrictions, Gilson doesn't expect any substantial decrease in the number of cattle brought from Minnesota. That's about 13,000 animals annually, many of them replacement heifers for Wisconsin dairy herds.