Wisconsin to accept Michigan cattle

The announcement that Wisconsin has agreed to open its borders to local producers was welcome news to Michigan State Rep. Ed McBroom, who has been working with both state’s officials on the issue.

“This has been a huge issue for our area and the state so I have been contacting Wisconsin lawmakers and their governor’s office, as well as our own governor and ag department director so everyone was aware of the seriousness and importance of this border issue for Upper Peninsula agriculture,” said McBroom, R-Vulcan. “It’s another step forward for our area economy and business opportunities to again be able to have commercial trade with our neighboring state of Wisconsin.”

On Aug. 1, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection informed Michigan’s state veterinarian and the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development (MCARD) of its new importation rules that acknowledge Michigan’s split state status.

“This is great news for Michigan producers and even better news for farmers in the Upper Peninsula who previously were able to participate in the Wisconsin markets,” said Diane Hansen of Cornell, who serves as MCARD secretary. “The ruling lifts the unfair but understandable restrictions our region was suffering under for an issue being dealt with in another part of the state.”

Under the new Wisconsin rules bovine from the Modified Accredited Zone (MAZ) and the Modified Accredited Advanced Zone (MAAZ) fall under the same zonal rules for Wisconsin and may enter Wisconsin for exhibition as long as they follow all of the rules established by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, including a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, complete physical destination address and have official identification.

“I am pleased that Wisconsin is considering the U.P. TB free,” said Peter Kleiman, a Wilson farmer.  “This is a start in the right direction to get full access to Wisconsin.”

Bison and cattle from Michigan’s federal TB MAZ and MAAZ in northern Lower Peninsula counties – Alcona, Alpena, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Montmorency, Oscoda, Otsego and Presque Isle counties – may not be sold at a consignment sale or auction, but they may go to approved feedlots if they meet the testing requirements.

Rules for the different zones are listed on Wisconsin’s website: http://datcp.wi.gov/Animals/Animal_Movement/Cattle_Bison/Michigan/index.aspx. Additional information about Michigan’s bovine TB eradication efforts may be found at: www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.