Louisiana attains Class Free brucellosis status

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The USDA-APHIS has declared Louisiana to be free of brucellosis, making it the 45th state to rid itself of the contagious disease affecting cattle and humans. Class Free status removes certain restrictions on the interstate movement of cattle from Louisiana.

Federal brucellosis regulations provide a system for classifying states or portions of states according to the rate of Brucella infection present in cattle and the general effectiveness of the state's brucellosis control and eradication program.

The interim rule regarding Louisiana's new classification became effective July 27 and was published in the Aug 3 Federal Register.

Since the 1950s, the USDA has aggressively campaigned to eradicate brucellosis from all domestic livestock.

With the aid of ranchers and farmers, accredited veterinarians, and state and local health officials, the agency has managed to confine the disease to a few cattle herds in Texas and a privately owned bison herd quarantined in South Dakota.

Oklahoma, Florida, and Missouri have no quarantined herds, and are fulfilling the 12-month waiting period before earning the USDA's Class Free status.