Farm & Ranch

Sep 15, 2013 7:54 PM by Lindsey Gordon (lindsey@kxlh.com)

Texas imposes brucellosis testing on all DSA breeding cattle

HELENA - Last week the Texas Animal Health Commission voted to impose stricter testing protocol for all breeding cattle coming from Montana's Designated Surveillance Area, even after the Montana Department of Livestock sent the state veterinarian before the commission to inform them of the state's Brucellosis management program.

That means that any calving breeding cattle coming from the DSA could be subjected to over a year of quarantine if purchased by Texas producers; that's 30 to 90 days after a heifer gives birth.

Montana's Department of Livestock worried the rule could set a precedent for other states, but Dr. Marty Zaluski, the state veterinarian, said he no longer thinks that will happen because the rule is so "unnecessary" and "arbitrary."

"I'm obviously frustrated about the outcome. We have an excellent program, we find Brucellosis affected herds early and they're extremely rare, but the Texas Animal Health Commission elected to implement these rules anyway," said Zaluski.

There are up to 250 herds that utilize Montana's DSA. Last year about 6,000 breeding cattle were exported to Texas.

Dr. Zaluski thinks the rule could stigmatize all cattle coming from the area, not just those that are breeding and susceptible to Brucellosis.

While there are no formal plans, the state vet said that if they were to take the same unnecessary precautions like Texas has, they would have to examine by similar standards Tuberculosis and Brucellosis in cattle coming from Texas that could potentially infect Montana herds.

The Designated Surveillance Area is made up of parts of four Montana counties: Beaverhead, Madison, Gallatin, and Park.

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