WASHINGTON (May 17, 2016) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) submitted comments this week on the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) Proposed Rule on Brucellosis and Bovine Tuberculosis: Update of General Provisions and Brucellosis and Bovine Tuberculosis Program Standards.
The rule proposes to consolidate the regulations governing both brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis. Currently, brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis is classified state-by-state based on disease prevalence. The proposed rule changes the current program by replacing it with a classification system, no longer basing a state’s status on the prevalence level of the disease within its borders. Instead, the new program would base classifications on whether a state has an animal health plan in place to address the disease, USDA APHIS has approved the plan and whether the state is actively adhering to its plan. USCA has expressed its multiple concerns regarding the new classification system in formally submitted comments to the Federal Register.
USCA’s comments, which may be viewed HERE, support the current system which relies on a state by state and locally-driven system, “USCA encourages USDA APHIS to continue to work in cooperation with state and regional animal health officials to allow for decisions concerning these two diseases to be made at the local level.”
USCA President Danni Beer commented on the proposed rule, “Based on the comments received, USDA APHIS must take a careful look at the concerns raised by the U.S. livestock industry. Replacing an active monitoring system which identifies the prevalence of brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis with a categorical classification is not in the best interest of the industry. USCA has officially asked USDA APHIS to suspend further action on this rule in order to review and develop a rule that addresses industry concerns and maintains the safety of the domestic livestock herd. USCA looks forward to working with APHIS staff in readdressing and drafting this rule.”