Tuberculosis Eradication in Bovidae and Cervidae in the United States

The AVMA encourages the USDA and CDC to collaborate and continue to partner with state animal health officials, federal and state animal public health officials, the Bovidae industries, the captive Cervidae industries, wildlife agencies, academia, and other affiliated entities to identify, respond to, and eliminate bovine tuberculosis (TB) in both U.S. Bovidae cattle and Cervidae through:

  • A portfolio of active and passive surveillance activities, including slaughter surveillance, import testing, and trace herd testing
  • Determining the source and spread of Mycobacterium bovis (bTB) herd infections through herd investigations
  • Development and use of improved diagnostic testing methods
  • Implementation of additional testing requirements for higher-risk classes of livestock
  • Strategic identification and removal of high-risk Bovidae and Cervidae and retention of low-risk animals within affected Bovidae and Cervidae herds
  • Management of risks from all imported Bovidae and Cervidae
  • Partnership with public health officials to prevent, investigate, and mitigate occurrences and risk of zoonotic and reverse zoonotic infections associated with livestock workers
  • Use of zoning, including science-based risk analysis, for managing TB-affected areas
  • Management of practices to minimize contact between wildlife and cattle
  • Evaluation and prioritization of all routes of disease transmission/introduction
  • Improved animal and disease traceability
  • Mandatory testing and reporting coordination among livestock and wildlife health agencies and public health agencies in the United States and other countries to share the results of whole genome sequencing of bTB isolates
  • Sufficient funding for indemnification, including removal of animals for diagnostic purposes
  • Education and outreach for stakeholders

NOTE: Cattle are but one species of Bovidae susceptible to TB infections and potential public health consequences. The Bovidae comprise the biological family of cloven-hoofed, ruminant mammals that includes several livestock and zoological animals (i.e., cattle, bison, buffalo, antelopes, and caprines) and many feral wildlife species. Members of this family are collectively called bovids.