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Texas' New Cattle TB Status Affects Regulations

Posted Jul. 1, 2002

As many of you probably know, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) recently changed Texas' status concerning cattle tuberculosis. Since many of you own cattle in Texas or routinely purchase or sell cattle in Texas, I thought it would be relevant to provide current information on those changes. Most of the following information was obtained from an e-mail sent by Carla Everett, director of public information at the Texas Animal Health Commission, on May 28, 2002.

Q: Why did Texas' status change with respect to tuberculosis?
A: Texas will lose its "accredited free" status due to the identification of two tuberculosis-infected cattle herds in less than a 48-month period, in accordance with USDA tuberculosis regulations. Texas' new status will be "modified accredited advanced."

Q: How long will it be before Texas can regain its accredited free status?
A: Since Texas depopulated the two infected herds and conducted complete investigations as to the potential source of tuberculosis infection, the state could apply to regain accredited free status two years from the date of depopulation of the last infected herd. If Texas had not depopulated the infected herds or had failed to complete the appropriate investigation, it would have had to wait five years until it could apply for accredited free status.

Q: Will testing and identification requirements for interstate movement of cattle and bison change because of Texas' new tuberculosis status?
A: Yes. Breeding cattle moving interstate must be identified and tested negative within 60 days prior to movement. However, USDA will delay the implementation of testing and identification for feeder cattle or bison until Jan. 1, 2003.

Q: What are the requirements for moving breeding cattle or bison interstate?
A: Breeding cattle or bison that are not known to be infected with or exposed to tuberculosis may be moved interstate only if:

  • The breeding cattle or bison are moved directly to slaughter at an approved slaughtering facility.
  • The breeding cattle or bison are from an accredited herd and are accompanied by a certificate stating that the accredited herd completed the testing necessary for accredited status with negative test results within one year prior to the date of movement.
  • The breeding cattle or bison are officially identified and are accompanied by a certificate stating that they were negative to an official tuberculin test conducted within 60 days prior to the date of movement.

 

Q: Does a change in tuberculosis status from accredited free to modified accredited advanced affect every movement of cattle or bison?
A: No. It only affects movement of animals that leave the modified accredited advanced state.

Q: What are the requirements for testing breeding (sexually intact) cattle or bison moving interstate from auctions/sales in a modified accredited advanced state?
A: If cattle are going to a market within the state of Texas and are destined to be sold out of state, then the breeding cattle (sexually intact) would require a negative tuberculin test and official identification within 60 days prior to movement. If testing is not conducted on the farm prior to movement to the market, the animals will have be held at either the market (at owner expense) or at another premises within Texas for a minimum of three days to complete tuberculosis testing prior to their being moved interstate. If cattle or bison are not moving interstate from auctions/sales, there are no testing requirements.

Q: What are the testing or identification requirements for feeder cattle or bison moving out of state directly to slaughter?
A: Cattle or bison moving out of state directly to slaughter have no additional testing or identification requirements.

Q: What are the testing or identification requirements for feeder cattle or bison moving out of state to an approved feedlot?
A: Feeder cattle or bison heifers that are sexually intact can move out of state (from a modified accredited advanced state) to an approved feedlot but must be officially identified or identified with an approved premises of origin tag. Feeder steers and spayed heifers can move out of state (from a modified accredited advanced state) to an approved feedlot or to grass but must be officially identified or identified with an approved premises of origin tag. However, USDA will delay the implementation of testing and identification requirements for feeder cattle or bison until Jan. 1, 2003.

Q: How can untested Texas breeding cattle entering a Texas market be qualified for out-of-state movement?
A: Untested Texas breeding cattle or bison sold at a market to go out of state must be held a minimum of three days at the market or other premises in Texas for tuberculosis testing. Untested cattle or bison can move interstate only when all cattle in the buyer's lot have tested negative within 60 days prior to interstate movement.

For more information, contact USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services senior staff veterinarians Dr. Joe Van Tiem or Dr. Terry Beals at:
National Animal Health Programs Staff
4700 River Road Unit 43
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231
or (301)734-6954.

In Texas, contact USDA-APHIS-VS area veterinarian-in-charge Dr. Richard Ferris or assistant area veterinarian-in-charge Dr. Keith Armstrong at (512)916-5551.

In Oklahoma, contact USDA-APHIS-VS area veterinarian-in-charge Dr. Bryan Espe at:
4020 North Lincoln Blvd. Suite 101
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
or (405)427-9413.

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