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Agriculture Today

Changes to Texas cattle trichomoniasis regulations

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September 15, 2011 | 2,762 views | Post a comment

AUSTIN -- The Texas Animal Health Commission recently adopted changes to its cattle trichomoniasis “trich” rules, according to a press release from the Texas Animal Health Commission and the Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas.

Trich is a venereal disease of cattle caused by protozoa that can cause abortions and infertility, subsequently causing economic losses for the producer. The cattle program is managed primarily through required testing of breeding bulls for the disease prior to change of ownership or entry into a herd. Interested producers, veterinarians, and stakeholders provided suggestions to the Texas Animal Health Commission throughout the previous year to help improve the trich program. A Texas Animal Health Commission trich working group met in May to review the submitted suggestions and provided recommendations for the animal health commission to consider. The working group suggestions that were accepted and recently passed by the Texas Animal Health Commission and went into effect on August 14.

Questions about the new regulations may be directed to Region 5 Texas Animal Health Commission Regional Director Dr. David Finch or Supervising Inspector Howard Helmers in Beeville, by calling 361-358-3234.

Revised Trichomoniasis Rules in Texas

The following is an overview of rule changes for the Texas cattle trichomoniasis program as of Aug. 14:

•Texas will no longer accept “virgin” bulls for entry from other states. All breeding bulls 12 months of age and older must have a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Trich test prior to entry.

•Texas will no longer accept a negative culture test(s) for entry of breeding bulls into the state. Only PCR tests will be accepted.

•Untested out-of-state bulls are now allowed entry into Texas if consigned directly to trich certified feedyard facilities, and accompanied by a permit issued by an accredited veterinarian from the state of origin.

•A “Control Herd Plan” option has been created that allows large cattle operations up to three years to eradicate trich from their herd. The enrolled herds are allowed to test once per year (preferably prior to breeding season) instead of two or more times as normally required, but in exchange they must consult with a veterinarian and enter into a plan designed to remove the disease from the herd. In the interim, all bulls leaving the herd must be sold for slaughter or feeding for slaughter only until their quarantine is released.

•The Texas Animal Health Commission will now allow an approved laboratory to “pool” individually submitted samples (up to five samples) for PCR testing, to count as one of the two tests normally required to release a herd from quarantine. Pooled samples will still not be allowed for change of ownership testing, however. This change was designed as a cost-saving measure for producers, and must be approved in advance by the Texas Animal Health Commission regional management in consultation with the owner or veterinarian.

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