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Pawlenty signs bovine TB plan into law

ST. PAUL (AP) -- A plan to eradicate bovine tuberculosis from Minnesota cattle is now law.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty says the disease is a threat to Minnesota's livestock industry. He spoke at a signing ceremony for the $6.2 million bill.

The plan includes paying ranchers to slaughter their herds and putting up fences to keep deer from spreading the disease.

Sen. Rod Skoe says Minnesota is leading the fight against a disease other states have tried to tackle.

The aim is to regain bovine TB-free status for the state's cattle industry.

Federal authorities downgraded the rating this year, triggering costly testing requirements for ranchers and farmers. State officials are pushing to limit the downgraded rating to part of northwestern Minnesota.