May 22, 2014 Change in Distribution of Official ID In the last year, the Board has distributed over 200,000 official identification ear tags to vete

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May 22, 2014

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Change in Distribution of Official ID

In the last year, the Board has distributed over 200,000 official identification ear tags to veterinarians, and to cattle, swine, and deer and elk producers. Additionally, the Board worked with leadership of the Minnesota 4-H program to develop and distribute a tag that is official while also meeting the needs of the 4-H program.

In the next few weeks, the Board will stop distributing plastic National Uniform Ear-tagging System (NUES or ‘41’) tags and electronic Animal Identification Number (RFID/AIN or ‘840’) tags. A small supply of these tags is still available, and the Board will continue to provide them to veterinarians and producers at no charge until the current inventory is depleted.

Official plastic NUES and RFID tags may now be purchased from Leedstone, a Minnesota-based company. Producers and veterinarians who wish to purchase plastic ‘41’ tags or RFID ‘840’ tags can call Leedstone at (877) 608-3877 or visit them online.

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Rabies Prevention

Over the past 100 years, there has been a substantial decrease in the number of human and domestic animal rabies cases. This is due to the availability and use of a vaccine and the partnership of veterinarians, animal owners, medical doctors and public health officials. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health encourages pet and livestock owners to talk to their veterinarians about rabies vaccination.

The vast majority of rabies cases reported each year occur in wild animals such as skunks, bats, foxes and raccoons. In Minnesota, the skunk strain and several different strains affecting bats are most common. Domestic animals account for less than 10 percent of the reported rabies cases nationally. In Minnesota, cattle, cats, and dogs are the domestic species most often reported as rabid.

Warmer weather means more outdoor time for people and their pets. The first line of defense to protect your family from rabies is to follow animal vaccination guidelines set by your veterinarian.

For more information on rabies in Minnesota, view a historical graph of cases in animals, read about recent cases or learn about rabies in people.

Summer Shipping Tips for Rabies Testing

Do:
• Chill specimens before delivery or shipping
• Include enough freezer packs to keep specimens cold during transit
• Hand-deliver specimens to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory whenever possible

Do Not:
• Freeze specimens
• Place specimens in a styrofoam container immediately after euthanasia of the animal

Please call 651-201-5414 if you have questions on submitting specimens for rabies testing.

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Biosecurity in Backyard Poultry

Spring is an important time to ramp up biosecurity practices and disease awareness in backyard poultry flocks. Wild waterfowl are the natural reservoir of influenza viruses, but can also transmit Newcastle disease, Salmonella and other poultry diseases through interaction with domestic poultry on their migration north. Our state is a common migratory flyway for these birds, and though Minnesotans enjoy wildlife, we must also do what we can to protect domestic animals from disease.

Biosecurity basics in backyard flocks include:
• Separating different species and ages of birds
• Decreasing or eliminating the potential for interaction with wild birds with proper and well-kept buildings, fencing and netting
• Restricting visitors, vehicles and equipment that are non-essential in the care of your birds
• Not borrowing or loaning out vehicles, equipment and tools to others
• Knowing the warning signs of disease
• Separating sick birds from the rest of the flock and testing them for disease

View the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s video on backyard poultry biosecurity.

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