The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) recently held a regularly scheduled Commission meeting on September 16, 2014, at its headquarters in Austin.
 
The following rules were adopted during the meeting and are now in effect:
 
Chapter 38, Trichomoniasis, Testing/Herd Certification
The commission adopted two new Trichomoniasis (Trich) testing requirements and two herd certification program requirements.

  • Testing Requirements: If a bull is sold and later found to be infected with Trich, other bull(s) from the infected bulls original herd of origin may be required to be tested if the bull was not exposed to female cattle after the sale, and prior to testing by the new owner. A second requirement passed states that if a bull is found to be infected with Trich on property not owned or managed by the original by caretaker of the bull (a stray), other bull(s) from both the unit of origin and bull(s) found on the premises where the bull was last located must all be officially tested for Trichomoniasis.
  • Herd Management: The first amendment allows the commission to evaluate the effectiveness of a herd control plan and authorizes the TAHC can choose to continue or disapprove the herd plan based on the progress or lack of progress made with the infected herd. A second amendment requires all herd owners enrolled in the Trich Herd Certification Program to have adequate perimeter fences around their property to prevent the ingress or egress of cattle.

 Chapter 51, Entry Requirements, Cattle & Swine
The commission added two exemptions to Trichomoniasis (Trich) testing requirements concerning the intrastate movement of breeding bulls entering Texas. The commission also added an entry requirement for non-commercial swine entering Texas.

  • Cattle: The first testing requirement exemption is for Texasbreeding bulls moving directly to an out-of-state facility that tests their gain and feed conversion for cattle (bull test stations). Such bulls do not need to be tested to return back to the Texas premises of origin as long as the bulls have been kept separate from female cattle while participating in the feed trial. The second texting exemption is for breeding bulls that originate from a herd that is enrolled in a Trich certification program in another state that is substantially similar to the Texas Certified Trich Free Herd Program, and confirmed by the TAHC.
  • Swine: For non-commercial swine entering Texas for reasons other than immediate slaughter, the commission now requires accredited veterinarians to include a statement on certificates of veterinary inspection (i.e. health certificates) That the swine represented on the certificate have not originated from a premises known to be affected by Novel Swine Enteric Coronavirus Disease(s) (SECD), and have not been exposed to SECD within the last 30 days.

 
Chapter 39, Scabies and Mange Mites
The title and content of this chapter was modified to accurately identify that scabies and other contagious skin diseases identified in the chapter are caused by mange mites and to allow the use of new types of acceptable treatments for mange mites.
 
Chapter 45, Reportable Diseases, Novel Swine Enteric Coronavirus Disease(s)
The commission added Novel Swine Enteric Coronavirus Disease (SECD) to the list of reportable diseases.
 
The following rules were proposed:
 
Chapter 43, Tuberculosis, Movement Restriction Zone
Based upon the recommendations of the 2014 "Bovine Tuberculosis Risk Assessment for El Paso and Hudspeth Counties," the commission proposed amendments that would redefine the Movement Restriction Zone (MRZ) and specify that the El Paso and Hudspeth County MRZ restrictions are limited to bovine. The proposal would also remove the previous annual and bi-annual TB test requirements. Further, future TB testing of susceptible species in the MRZ would only be required if determined epidemiologically to be necessary by the commission.
 
Chapter 49, Equine, Piroplasmosis Testing Racetrack Facilities
The proposal would broaden the existing definition of a "racetrack facility" to include facilities that are not licensed by the Texas Racing Commission. This requirement is intended to ensure that horses that compete at unsanctioned racetracks are tested negative prior to entry into facility.
 
Chapter 40, Chronic Wasting Disease, Movement Restriction Zone
In 2012, the commission established two Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) zones (Containment and High Risk) in portions of El Paso, Hudspeth and Culberson counties in West Texas to protect against the spread of CWD. Because the two original zone movement requirements were identical when passed, the commission has now proposed to combine the two separate geographical zones into a single new zone defined as the "Containment Zone". There is no change in zone requirements or boundaries, but simply a name change. The High Risk zone concept is still valid, and may be applicable for other locations in the future if necessary.
 
Chapter 51, Entry Requirements, Swine
To be consistent with USDA animal disease traceability and interstate movement requirements, the commission proposed changes to swine entry identification requirements to accept registration tattoos and ear notches as official identification methods.
 
Chapter 57, Poultry, Larynogotracheitis Vaccine Virus
For poultry entering Texas, the commission proposed an amendment to require accredited veterinarians to certify on the required health certificate that the poultry listed on it have not originated from an area that has had "active chicken embryo origin Laryngotracheitis vaccine virus" circulating within it in the last 30 days.
 
To view the details of the rules recently passed visit http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/regs/code.html.
 
The TAHC will accept public comments beginning October 10, on the following rules and amendments proposed (not including Chapter 51, amendment pending). The proposals have a 30-day comment period and the deadline for comment submissions is Monday, November 10, 2014, at 5 p.m. Complete details of the rule proposals are available on the TAHC website at http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/regs/proposals.html
 
The TAHC encourages and appreciates all comments. Comments on the proposed regulations must be submitted in writing to Amanda Bernhard, Texas Animal Health Commission, 2105 Kramer Lane, Austin, Texas 78758, by fax at (512) 719-0719, or by email to comments@tahc.texas.gov.
 
For more information, visit www.tahc.texas.gov  or call 1-800-550-8242.