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Assuring a safe food supply
The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) and its partner agencies maintain a strong commitment to eradicating bovine TB from Michigan livestock and deer. In keeping with its long-standing tradition of making food safety a top priority, MDA pledges an equally rigorous effort to continue ensuring the safety of both venison and beef meats as well as milk through comprehensive testing, monitoring and educational efforts from the farm or processing plant to the retail store.
Bovine TB is not a new problem in Michigan. TB was frequently found in dairy and beef cattle in Michigan, and many other states, through the mid 20th century. In fact, Michigan was not declared free of bovine TB in livestock until 1979. However, bovine TB has been a historically rare disease in wild deer. Prior to 1994, only eight white-tailed or mule deer had been reported with bovine TB in North America. Michigan is thought to be the only place on the continent where the disease has become established in the wild deer population.
Putting bovine TB into perspective, as of October 1, 2003 state, federal and private veterinarians have conducted more than 802,459 Caudal Fold TB tests on over 18,577 herds of livestock since 1997. Only 81 cattle from 30 farms have been confirmed as TB positive. In addition, over 105,000 free-ranging, white-tailed deer have been examined for TB, with 449 testing positive for the disease (71% of TB positive wild White-tailed deer came from 12 "townships" in the TB endemic area of Northeastern Lower Michigan).
to Michigan Department of Agriculture's Food Safety web page