Members of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) gathered in Washington, D.C. this week to meet with members of Congress and regulatory officials to discuss issues critical to the cattle industry.

There are numerous proposals in Congress that could dramatically change the scene of the cattle industry in Texas including the Clean Water Restoration Act, a climate change bill, and a bill to reduce the use of disease-preventing animal antibiotics.

"Cattle producers work extremely hard to take care of their land and water and provide safe and healthy beef to American families," said TSCRA President and Texas rancher Dave Scott.

"In order to do this we must be able to responsibly administer safe antibiotics to prevent and control animal diseases, which is why it is so critical that Congress stop any proposals that would take away our ability to do this.

"The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have put a multi-layer approval process in place to ensure that any animal antibiotics used to keep animals healthy do so without causing harm to humans.

"Proposals like the Preservation of Antibiotics for Animal Treatment Act would actually leave American beef producers with very few options to prevent and control diseases within their cattle herds," said Scott.

Texas ranchers are also concerned about the Clean Water Restoration Act which would expand federal control over all wet areas including stock tanks, drainage ditches, ponds, small and intermittent streams, creek beds, playa lakes and mud holes.

Also of concern is the House-passed climate change bill, H.R. 2454. If signed into law this bill will drastically increase the costs of fuel, electricity, feed, fertilizer, equipment and other production costs necessary to run a successful ranching business.

Texas cattle raisers expressed strong support for the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, H.R. 1799. This bill would increase productivity, reduce freight costs, and reduce the number of trucks on interstates by allowing states to increase the maximum truck weight from 80,000 to 97,000 pounds.

Other proposals that would benefit ranchers include a bill to exempt working farm and ranch lands from the death tax and a bill that would phase out government subsidies for corn-based ethanol.

"Each of these issues is extremely important to the cattle industry, which is why it remains important to bring our concerns and support directly to our elected officials in Washington, D.C."

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is a 132-year-old trade organization and is the largest livestock association in Texas. TSCRA has more than 15,000 members who manage approximately 4 million head of cattle on 51.5 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. TSCRA provides law enforcement services, livestock inspection, legislative and regulatory advocacy and educational opportunities for its members and the industry.