Reminder Comment Period for Rule Proposals Closes July 8, 2019

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) held a regularly scheduled Commission meeting on May 21, 2019, at its headquarters in Austin. The following amendments were proposed, and TAHC will accept public comments on the proposals from June 7, 2019 – July 8, 2019.

Chapter 38, Trichomoniasis
Three changes were proposed to the Trichomoniasis (Trich) chapter.

  1. The proposed amendment no longer allows samples to be pooled by approved laboratories as an official Trichomoniasis test for positive herds, herds identified as adjacent premises, and change of ownership testing. These samples must be submitted individually.
  2. It was proposed that the use of virgin certificates be restricted to sexually intact male cattle under 18 months of age belonging to a breed registry, which maintains an official list of animals within a specific breed and associated with a unique identification. Thus, the amendment requires all male cattle under 18 months of age not belonging to a breed registry to be tested for Trich before being sold.
  3. The proposed amendment requires sellers to provide a written disclosure for female cattle that have been exposed or potentially exposed to a Trich positive bull within the six months prior to sale. The provision allows a buyer of female cattle to take this information into account for herd management when purchasing female cattle for breeding purposes.

Chapter 44, Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD)
The proposed rule creates Chapter 44 for the purpose of establishing a Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) control program. Due to the adverse effects the disease has on both the health and productivity of cattle, TAHC proposes to designate BVDV as a reportable disease in order to control the significant animal disease threat.

The proposed rule contains the primary elements and standards of a BVDV Control Program which include: movement restrictions on animals determined to be persistently infected (PI), reporting requirements, official BVDV tests and testing requirements, official identification requirements, biosecurity standards, and recordkeeping requirements.

Bovine viral diarrhea is a viral disease of cattle and other ruminants that is caused by the bovine viral diarrhea virus. BVDV is a member of the pestivirus genus. The transient BVDV infections cause diarrhea, decreased milk production, reproductive disorders, increased occurrence of other diseases and death. The losses from fetal infection include abortions, congenital defects, weak and abnormally small calves, unthrifty, and death among PI animals. Learn more about BVDV at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/emergingissues/downloads/bvdinfosheet.pdf.

Chapter 45, Reportable Disease (BVD)
The proposed rule adds Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus to the already established reportable disease list.

Chapter 49, Equine (Official Identification)
The proposed amendment includes the following electronic identification (ID) as official identification for equine tested for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA): Unique and permanent forms of identifications, such as electronic ID compliant with ISO 11784/11785, non-ISO electronic ID injected in the equine on or before March 11, 2014, and digital photographs sufficient to identify the individual equine.

Chapter 51, Entry Requirements (Equine)
The proposed amendment incorporates forms of electronic identification (see Chapter 49, Equine rule proposal) as official identification for equine moving on an equine passport.

The deadline for comment submissions on the proposed amendments is July 8, 2019. Comments on the proposed chapters must be submitted in writing to Amanda Bernhard, Texas Animal Health Commission, 2105 Kramer Lane, Austin, Texas 78758, by fax at (512) 719-0719 or by email to comments@tahc.texas.gov. Complete details of the rule proposals are available on the TAHC website at www.tahc.texas.gov/regs/proposals.html.

To read the full press release about the rules pass and proposed at the May 21, 2019 Commission Meeting click here.