Board of Animal Health pursues special rulemaking process to quickly amend farmed cervid rules

White-tailed deer in MN photo by Ley Bouchard


St. Paul, Minn. – During its quarterly meeting on Wednesday, April 21, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health approved a measure allowing its farmed cervid program to use a streamlined process to change one of its rules. Minnesota Rule 1721.0420, subpart 3, currently allows a farmed Cervidae herd owner in a CWD endemic area to continue moving animals if they meet certain criteria like having exclusionary fencing to prevent contact between farmed and wild cervids.

The Board asserts this rule needs to be amended faster than it can be amended under the normal rulemaking process in order to stop these cervid movements based on evidence from its investigation of the recently announced CWD positive Beltrami County farmed deer herd. In this instance, exclusionary fencing between farmed and wild cervids does not appear to be an effective means of preventing CWD exposure, which likely came from an exposed herd in Winona County. To prevent the potential spread of CWD to areas outside of a CWD endemic area, the Board proposes to stop these types of movements by amending the rule.

Please visit the Board’s eComments site at the Office of Administrative Hearings website to see the full proposal and provide public comment. The comment period and the eComments site will be open for five working days until Monday, May 3 at 4:30 p.m. Once the comment period closes, the administrative law judge has 14 days to review the comments and the Board’s justification for utilizing the streamlined rulemaking process, and to approve or disapprove the amended rule.

This streamlined rulemaking process is known as Good Cause Exemption rulemaking, which is a type of rulemaking an agency can use if it believes a rule needs to be amended faster than the normal rulemaking process allows. A Good Cause Exemption rule can be amended within 14 days if the agency can successfully demonstrate to an administrative law judge that the normal rulemaking requirements are contrary to the public interest and the rule amendment is necessary to address a serious and immediate threat to public health, safety, or welfare. Any rule amended through this process is effective for two years.

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The mission of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health is to protect the health of the state’s domestic animals through education and cooperation with veterinarians, producers, owners and communities.