OTTAWA, Ontario – Dr. Allan Preston was appointed to coordinate Canada’s bovine tuberculosis eradication efforts in and around Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park.

Preston will guide a multi-stakeholder working group that will include senior officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Parks Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, Manitoba Conservation, provincial cattle industry associations, conservation groups and First Nations.

He is a Manitoba veterinarian, and was formerly the Assistant Deputy Minister of Agri-Industry Development and Innovation Division for Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. He has extensive experience with bovine TB, having represented Manitoba on previous working groups and task forces.

“Our goal as a province is to continue our work with stakeholders in managing TB in livestock herds,” said Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) Minister Ron Kostyshyn. “Dr. Preston is well known to Manitoba farmers for his extensive experience and he will be a valuable addition to our efforts to detect, eliminate and prevent the spread of this bovine disease.”

Bovine tuberculosis continues to be endemic in wild deer and elk, posing significant challenges for livestock producers in the area, according to the provincial government. As a result, many producers are required to test their herds for TB periodically. However, progress has been made in managing bovine TB in Riding Mountain in recent years.

"We are pleased that governments have taken this important, coordinated step towards the eradication of bovine TB in Manitoba because they recognize the impact the disease is having on both cattle herds and wildlife," said Ray Armbruster, Manitoba Beef Producers president.