TAHC adopts rules for animal disease traceability and brucellosis

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The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) adopted rules during the September 10, Commission meeting. The following rules will go into effect on Monday, October 7, 2013.

Chapter 50, Animal Disease Traceability:The purpose of the new rule is to establish standards for facilities which must be approved by the TAHC to identify livestock as part of the federal disease traceability program. The rule specifically establishes the requirements for approved tagging sites. All facilities such as livestock markets receiving certain classes of livestock without official identification must be designated as approved tagging sites or be affiliated with one. Feed yards and slaughter plants receiving adult cattle must also be designated as approved tagging sites if the cattle are not harvested within three days of arrival at the establishment. TAHC and USDA-VS personnel will be meeting with proprietors in the coming weeks to further explain the requirements.

Chapter 35, Brucellosis, Cattle from the Brucellosis Designated Surveillance Areas of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming: The Commission added post entry test requirements for sexually intact cattle entering Texas from the Brucellosis Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) within the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, because Brucellosis is prevalent in bison and elk in those areas. All sexually intact cattle entering Texas that reside in the DSA must obtain an entry permit and a post entry test 60-120 days after entry, or 30 days after first calving for heifers. TAHC personnel will perform the testing at no charge to producers. Breeding cattle that previously resided in the DSA must meet the same entry requirements as those moving directly from the DSA, unless the cattle tested negative at least 60 days after leaving the DSA or 30 days after first calving for heifers.

Breeding bulls and post parturient female cattle entering Texas from these states are exempt from the post entry test requirement if the accredited veterinarian issuing the certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) verifies and includes a statement on the CVI that the cattle never resided in the DSA or have been tested at least 60 days after leaving the DSA. Heifers are exempt from the post entry test requirement if the accredited veterinarian verifies and states on the CVI that the heifer never resided in the DSA.

"The DSA rule is necessary because Texas fought and ultimately won the long and difficult battle against this disease to gain Brucellosis "Free" status. Texas must remain vigilant in monitoring for new incursions of Brucellosis and protecting our state's animal agriculture industry from possible threats," Dr. Dee Ellis, Texas' State Veterinarian, said.

 "I would also like to clarify that animals from the DSA will not be placed under a rigid quarantine upon arrival to Texas. The rule allows the TAHC to work with Texas producers on an individual basis to accommodate unique management practices," Dr. Ellis said. "This includes practices that may require cattle to be moved prior to testing or testing at timeframes outside those specified."

The TAHC is committed to working with producers from Texas, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to consider other factors that may warrant future modifications to the post entry test requirement.

Founded in 1893, the Texas Animal Health Commission works to protect the health of all Texas livestock, including: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, goats, equine animals, and exotic livestock.


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