The Associated Press October 1, 2010, 4:32PM ET

Minn. reaches another milestone in bovine TB fight

State officials have announced another milestone in the fight to eliminate bovine tuberculosis from northwestern Minnesota.

The vast majority of the state was upgraded to TB-free status Friday.

Portions of four counties - Roseau (ROH'-zoh), Lake of the Woods, Marshall, and Beltrami - remain subject to closer scrutiny. Some of that zone was upgraded Friday to a level that drops or reduces testing requirements and movement rules for cattle producers.

However, producers in a small area of those four counties remain subject to the same testing, movement and fencing requirements as before.

State Veterinarian Bill Hartmann says the upgrades signify one more step in Minnesota's efforts to eradicate the disease statewide since it turned up in some cattle in Roseau County in 2005.

Bovine TB causes severe coughing, fatigue, emaciation and debilitation in cattle and results in reduced milk and meat production.

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