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Agriculture Today

Animal health commission accepting comments on proposals

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October 19, 2011 | 2,762 views | Post a comment

AUSTIN -- The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) is currently accepting public comments on rule proposals that were authorized during the Sept. 20 TAHC meeting.

The commission proposed amendments to Chapter 33, titled “Fees, Lab Fees.” The proposed amendments are for the purpose of assessing fees related to testing performed by the State-Federal Laboratory System in Texas, which is operated by the commission. It will be a new section identified as 33.4 and titled “Laboratory Fees.” This rule may be commented on until 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7, 30 days after the rule has been filed with the Texas Register.

The Commission also proposed amendments to Chapter 33, titled “Fees, Herd Certification.” The proposed amendments are for the purpose of assessing and collecting fees for services related to the commission creating, maintaining, and/or validating disease-free certification or status programs. Examples of such programs include brucellosis-free herd programs for cattle and swine, and chronic wasting disease monitoring programs for cervids. It will be a new section identified as 33.5 and titled “Herd Disease Free Status Fees.” The proposed fee will be $100 for each certificate or status approved or renewed and issued by the commission. This rule may also be commented on until 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7, 30 days after the rule has been filed with the Texas Register.

Lastly, the commission also proposed amendments to Chapter 53, titled “Market Identification.” The proposed amendments are for the purpose of amending Section 53.4 titled “Market Identification” to require that livestock market personnel apply permanent identification to specific species and classes of adult cattle or record existing identification on the cattle as well as ensure that the information is recorded in a manner prescribed by the commission. This rule will specifically require that all livestock markets identify each head of sexually intact cattle that are parturient or postparturient, or 18 months of age or older; all dairy cattle (all cattle breeds typically used to produce milk or other dairy products for human consumption); and all cattle and bison used for rodeos, recreational events, shows, or exhibitions, with an official approved eartag. Also, the rule will require that the market shall record the identification in a manner prescribed by the commission.

The commission announced that, effective Aug. 1, government-subsidized brucellosis testing at all Texas livestock markets would be discontinued due to a lack of funding available to pay for future testing. Although the commission will no longer enforce the requirement for brucellosis testing of adult cattle, livestock markets are encouraged to voluntarily identify animals that were age eligible for testing.

This particular rule has a comment period of 60 days. It may be commented on until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

A detailed description of the proposed rules can be found on the TAHC website at http://www.tahc.state.tx.us under Rule Proposals.

Comments on the Texas Animal Health Commission’s proposed regulations must be submitted in writing to Carol Pivonka, Texas Animal Health Commission, 2105 Kramer Lane, Austin, TX 78758, by fax at 512-719-0721, or by e-mail at comments@tahc.state.tx.us by the respective deadline.

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