The Texas Animal Health Commission has adopted new cattle entry, testing and movement regulations in an effort to keep the state’s cattle tuberculosis-free status.
The new regulations, which were spurred by the concern about the recent findings of cattle TB infection in two New Mexico dairies, a Colorado bucking bull herd and an Oklahoma beef herd, include lowering the TB test-eligible age from six to two months for sexually intact dairy cattle entering Texas; identifying all Texas dairy cattle regardless of age with an official or TAHC-approved identification device prior to movement within the state; and requiring TB tests for Mexican-origin steers that are recognized as potential rodeo and/or roping stock, and entering from other states.
Texas originally achieved cattle TB-free status in 2000, but lost it in 2002 when two infected cattle herds were detected. The state regained it in October 2006 after a rigorous TB testing program was initiated.
“Reclaiming TB-free status was hard work for Texas producers and veterinary practitioners who participated in the testing program, and for TAHC and U.S. Department of Agriculture staff in Texas,” said Bob Hillman, DVM, TAHC executive director and Texas’ state veterinarian.
“It’s not enough to just find and eradicate TB. We must be able to find the disease quickly if it is re-introduced and trace those animals that may be the source of infection or be exposed to TB,” he said.
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