The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that Texas is again free of cattle tuberculosis.
The state gained tuberculosis-free status in 2000, then lost that status in 2002 after detecting tuberculosis in two cattle herds. Texas detected tuberculosis in two more cattle herds in 2003.
After depopulating the herds, Texas wanted to ensure that it had detected and eliminated all tuberculosis infection and had implemented effective disease surveillance for the state's 14 million cattle. Since September 2003, Texas has run tuberculosis tests on more than 335,000 cows in the state's 818 dairies and nearly 129,000 beef cattle in 2,014 of the state's seed stock or purebred herds.
Dr. Bob Hillman, state veterinarian for Texas and head of the Texas Animal Health Commission, said USDA regulations will now allow for interstate transportation of Texas breeding and dairy cattle without a tuberculosis test. Because states are at liberty to impose rules beyond USDA standards, though, some states might keep requirements for tuberculosis testing on the books.