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Bovine TB bill nears final House vote

A plan to spend more than $6 million to help fight bovine tuberculosis is nearing a final Minnesota House vote.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty and leaders of the DFL-controlled Legislature are working on a spending package as part of the state's efforts to eliminate the presence of bovine TB, a disease found in northwestern Minnesota cattle herds and deer.

The Ways and Means Committee on a voice vote sent the bill to the House floor Monday as top lawmakers stressed the importance of tackling the bovine TB problem.

The bill by Rep. Dave Olin, DFL-Thief River Falls, would provide funds for cattle herd buyouts in a zone in northwestern Minnesota, fencing required of some farmers and research of the disease.

Final Senate approval is expected to follow the House action.