Bovine tuberculosis is a respiratory disease that cattle can contract, along with other domesticated and wild livestock. While it has largely been eradicated from U.S. dairy and beef herds, sporadic outbreaks sometimes occur.
USDA Provides Useful TB Link
USDA recently completed a new webpage with comprehensive TB information available to the public. Visit it at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/bovine_tuberculosis/bovine_tb.shtml.
NMPF Provides Comments on TB/Brucellosis Indemnity Options
In November 2010, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) asked for input on the proposals for the "Appraisals Using Beef and Dairy Calculators" and "Options for Federal Indemnity Payments Veterinary Services for Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis Programs". When a herd has been identified with TB or Brucellosis and depopulation has been identified as the appropriate approach to control the disease, USDA must have the ability to fairly and accurately appraise animals for indemnification purposes. On December 15, 2011, NMPF submitted comments on all four options and the dairy calculator.
NMPF Provides Comments on TB/Brucellosis Framework
In September 2010, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) formed a working group of Federal, State, and Tribal subject matter experts to discuss new directions and flexible, transparent regulations for the bovine TB and brucellosis eradication programs. The working group subsequently drafted a regulatory framework of eight interrelated elements for the TB and brucellosis proposed rule. Earlier this year, USDA APHIS-VS issued a Proposed Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis Draft Regulatory Framework for updating and modernizing the coordinated Federal-State approach for bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis eradication. USDA held a series of public meetings to solicit input on the Framework. On July 5, 2011, NMPF submitted comments in general support of the Framework to USDA.
NMPF Provides Comments on New USDA Approach for Managing Bovine TB
The national tuberculosis (TB) eradication program had successfully reduced the incidence of the disease in U.S. cattle, but there was still a low incidence of TB as evidenced by the newly identified infected herds over the past several years. In order to have a more concerted effort to achieve the end goal of complete eradication of bovine TB from the U.S. cattle herd, with no recursions, it had become evident that USDA’s program needed to be updated, and the antiquated testing methodologies and surveillance tools improved. USDA proposed a new framework for modernizing the TB eradication program (available online at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_diseases/tuberculosis/downloads/tb_concept_paper.pdf).
After meeting with Dr. John Clifford (USDA Chief Veterinarian), the NMPF Animal Health & Welfare Committee discussed a path forward for the dairy industry, which resulted in December 4, 2009 comments on the USDA proposal. The comments were submitted to USDA in support of the modernization of the TB eradication program.
NMPF and NCBA Send Joint Letter to USDA Highlighting Need to Update National TB Eradication Efforts
In a document dated November 11, 2008, NMPF and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) urged Secretary Ed Schafer to consider improving outdated methods that are currently used to test for bovine TB in the U.S. With multiple cases of bovine TB currently identified in different regions across the country, USDA and the livestock industry should deal with issues related to surveillance, control, eradication, and prevention of this disease in the nation's cattle population. The full letter is available here.
NMPF Submits Comments to USDA on Proposed TB Program Changes
On September 22, 2008, NMPF sent a letter to USDA articulating support for efforts to maintain the effectiveness of the Cooperative State-Federal Tuberculosis Eradication Program. USDA had proposed changes to the program, and while the letter expressed NMPF's dedication to strengthening the program, it also asked USDA for clarification on a few points regarding the proposed changes. The full letter is available here.