The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) is emphasizing animal health requirements as more states find cases of bovine tuberculosis (TB).
Bovine TB is caused by Mycobacterium bovis (M.bovis), which can be spread through contact with infected animals. A state can lose its “TB-free” status if two infected herds are detected within a 48-month period, with strict cattle marketing and movement restrictions imposed.
Texas regained its TB-free status in October 2006. Two states, New Mexico and California, lost their TB-free status in September. Minnesota’s cattle TB status was downgraded in April 2008. In Michigan, only the Upper Peninsula is cattle TB-free
According to Texas Animal Health Commission information officer Carla Everett:
• Beef heifers consigned to Texas for “breeding” purposes must individually identified and have a negative TB test within 60 days prior to entry.
Individual identification (ID) can include an official ear tag, registration tattoo, registration brand or an RFID radio frequency identification device. The identification information must be recorded on the certificate of veterinary inspection issued in the state of origin within 30 days prior to the animals’ movement.
USDA regulations require that beef breeding animals transported from non-TB-free states have a negative TB test within 60 days prior to movement, unless the animals are nursing a negative dam, or if the animals originate from a recognized accredited herd, which undergoes regular testing. Tested animals are provided with individual identification. The test results and identification must be recorded on the certificate of veterinary inspection.
• Since October 2007, TAHC has had stringent TB entry requirements for dairy cattle. Due to their close confinement, dairy cattle have a greater risk of exposure to cattle TB if an infected animal exists in the herd.
Dairy breeding cattle must have official ID and a certificate of veterinary inspection prior to entering Texas. Sexually intact dairy cattle older than two months of age must have a negative TB test within 60 days prior to entering Texas, unless they are being transported directly to slaughter or to an approved feedlot, then slaughter. Sexually intact dairy cattle younger than two months of age must hae an entry permit and are restricted to the premises of destination until they are tested negative for TB at the age of two months.
• Mexican-origin (“M”-branded) steers recognized as potential rodeo and/or roping stock, and enteringTexas from other states must have had a negative TB test within the previous 12 months and be accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection, issued within the previous 30 days.
Texas originally gained its TB-free status in 2000, but lost it in 2002. Nearly 2,800 Texas herds were tested before the state regained its ranking in October 2006.
Producers who have questions about importing to Texas are invited to call the TAHC’s permit desk at 800-550-8242, ext 777. A chart on cattle entry requirements can be viewed on the TAHC’s web site at www.tahc.state.tx.us