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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Board of Animal Health

Active dates:1980 -

The mission of the Board of Animal Health is to protect the health of the state's domestic animals. The Board is responsible for carrying out disease control programs for livestock and poultry in Minnesota and overseeing their enforcement.


The Board of Animal Health, established by the legislature in 1903 as the State Livestock Sanitary Board (Laws 1903 Chap. 352), protects the health of domestic animals in the state through administration of laws, rules, and regulations related to animal disease control, including diseases transmittable to man and those contagious only to livestock. Early disease concerns included tuberculosis in cattle and swine, glanders in horses, sheep scabies, hog cholera, and rabies. Brucellosis became a concern in the 1920s. Prior to 1903, the board's functions were performed by the Department of Health.

The Board's name changed to the Board of Animal Health in 1980 (Minn Laws 1980 Chap. 467).

2021 Minnesota Laws Chapter 28 changed board membership from five to six members, requiring at least one member to be from a federally recognized Tribe in Minnesota. Language was also added saying the board shall allow the movement of Cervidae from a Cervidae farm located within a chronic wasting disease management or endemic zone if the Cervidae have tested negative for chronic wasting disease with an antemortem test validated by the United States Department of Agriculture and the herd has met other movement requirements as set by the board.


As of 2021, six members appointed by the governor with senate confirmation, four of whom are producers of livestock in the state and at least one of the four livestock producers is also a member of a federally recognized Tribe located in Minnesota, and two of whom are practicing veterinarians licensed in Minnesota. 

The Board elects a president and vice-president among its members. Every year, the Board appoints a veterinarian to serve as the state veterinarian and executive director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

Entries for this agency in the Annual Compilation and Statistical Report of Multi-Member Agencies Report: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980.

Note: This report provides membership details as well as meeting information and a summary of the group's activities.

Agency heads:

Secretaries/Executive Officers: S. H. Ward, 1903-1918; Charles E. Cotton, 1919-1942; Ralph L. West, 1942-1959; Jack G. Flint, 1960-

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
Bill would change the makeup of state's Board of Animal Health. Outdoor News, 3/3/2021.
Committee to advise Board of Animal Health. Outdoor News, 9/2/2020.
Record last updated: 06/09/2021

Additional print information on this group may be available in the Library's collection of agency notebooks. Please contact a librarian for assistance. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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