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MDARD Announces a Public Hearing Regarding a Proposed Bovine Tuberculosis Testing Area

Public comments will be accepted until May 10

LANSING — Due to the detection of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in a wild deer from Benzie County in February 2024, the Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is proposing to establish an order for bovine TB testing in specific portions of Benzie and Manistee counties. Since this area is not currently within Michigan's existing bovine TB testing area in the northeastern part of the Lower Peninsula, Public Act 466 requires MDARD to hold a public hearing in that region to explain the proposed order and accept comments. Comments can also be submitted in writing by 5:00 P.M. on Friday, May 10, 2024.

The state of Michigan contains two zones as part of the National Tuberculosis Eradication Program: the bovine tuberculosis free zone (also called the Accredited Free Zone), which includes 95 percent of the state, and the Modified Accredited Zone (MAZ), a four-county area in the northeastern Lower Peninsula. As required by MDARD's Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in order to maintain this split-state status for bovine TB, a bovine TB testing area must be designated around where a TB-positive wild deer is harvested outside of the MAZ. All cattle and bison herds within this area must then be tested to ensure they have not contracted the disease.

The proposed order can be viewed on MDARD's Public Meeting Notices website. The order would apply to people who own cattle or bison herds. Creating this order would require all cattle and bison herds located within the specific portions of Benzie and Manistee counties indicated to be tested for bovine TB by December 31, 2024. All affected producers will be receiving letters providing more details.

On April 25, 2024, from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M., the public hearing will be held to explain the order, answer questions, and accept comments. This hearing can be joined in-person or virtually using the information below:

In Person

Crystal Mountain
12500 Crystal Mountain Drive
Thompsonville, MI 49683
Hudson Bay Room, Second Floor

Please register at least 10 minutes before the hearing.
Once registered, the link to the hearing will be emailed to you.

Also, the proposed order will be submitted to the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development for review during their meeting on May 15, 2024. If approved by the Commission, the new order is proposed to go into effect on May 16, 2024, upon final approval by the MDARD director.

Public comments regarding the proposed order must be received by 5:00 P.M. on Friday, May 10, 2024.

Mail: Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Agriculture Development Bureau, Producer Services Division
Jeff Haarer
525 W. Allegan St.
PO Box 30017
Lansing, MI 48909

Map: Proposed Bovine TB Testing area. Much of Benzie county and Manistee county are displayed.


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