Changes to bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis eradication programs could focus efforts on areas with known infections and create alternatives to whole-herd depopulation.
The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is accepting comments through Dec. 4 on the proposed revisions to the national programs. Changes to both programs would include mitigating transmission from wildlife, focusing resources, developing alternatives to whole-herd depopulation when cases are discovered, and shifting from state-based sampling to national zone-based programs.
Some of the changes to the bovine tuberculosis program also would include implementing additional requirements for importing cattle from Mexico and utilizing slaughter surveillance as the primary means of finding infection. Changes to the bovine brucellosis program would include reducing slaughter surveillance by half and consolidating laboratories.
Tuberculosis is endemic among white-tailed deer in Michigan and Minnesota, and wildlife in and near Yellowstone National Park is the last known reservoir for brucellosis.
AVMA volunteer leaders and staff members were reviewing the USDA-APHIS proposals and had not provided comments on the issue by press time.
The USDA will accept comments on the bovine brucellosis plan at www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2009-0006 and comments on the bovine tuberculosis plan at www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2009-0073.
Comments on the brucellosis program are also accepted at the following address: APHIS-2009-0006, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.
The address for the tuberculosis program is the same except that the lead line should read APHIS-2009-0073.