Proposed changes to Texas Cattle 'Trich' regs
The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) proposed several changes to the current Texas Bovine Trichomoniasis "Trich" regulations at its Sept. 8 meeting.
The proposed amendments to Chapter 38, "Trichomoniasis" reflected suggestions by a working group of cattle producers, veterinarians and other stakeholders which meets annually to review the program and make suggestions for improvement.
The Trich program helps protect Texas cattle from a venereal disease caused by protozoa that can cause abortions and infertility, resulting in economic losses for the producer.
Diagnosis of the disease is made by laboratory testing of samples collected from bulls by veterinarians. The disease does not affect humans.
Although the rules have not been officially passed yet, the TAHC will put in abeyance its existing rules and allow the following changes to take effect immediately.
The TAHC will now accept tests run on samples "pooled" at an official lab - for both change of ownership and quarantine release. The veterinarian will still collect samples from individual bulls for submission to the laboratory, and the maximum acceptable pooled ratio will be 5:1.
After receiving the samples, the lab may combine up to five samples if requested prior to testing.
"This change in protocol will result in substantial savings for Texas producers testing their bulls for this economically devastating venereal disease," said Dr. Dee Ellis, Texas state veterinarian.
Recent studies have confirmed that pooled sampling is acceptable to make the diagnosis while saving the producer considerable money.
A second significant change was also proposed. Diagnostic samples will now be accepted at the laboratory if submitted up to 120 hours - increased from 96 hours - from collection if specific guidelines are followed by the submitting veterinarian to ensure the integrity of the sample. This will give veterinarians one more day to submit the samples to the lab, which is helpful to rural veterinarians with long distance shipping concerns.
Proposals were also made to amend Chapter 51, "Entry Requirements." Out-of-state bulls will also now be allowed to enter Texas using the 5:1 lab-pooled sample method described above. Further, the validity of Trich tests on bulls entering the state will be extended to 60 days from 30 days. These changes are intended as cost savings measures, as well as an attempt to help align Texas entry rules with other states requirements.
For more detailed information concerning the proposed Trich rules, visit www.tahc.state.tx.us or call 1-800-550-8242.