Federal restrictions lifted on movement of cattle
California has regained its “accredited-free” status for bovine tuberculosis (TB), allowing cattle and bison to move to other states without the federal requirement of TB testing. The upgraded status is a result of several years of testing and related biosecurity efforts following the detection of the disease in five dairy herds dating between 2008 and 2013. These herds have all been declared free of the disease.
“This announcement is several years, thousands of lab tests and hundreds of herd inspections in the making,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones. “It is a testament to the biosecurity efforts of California dairies, and to the hard work of a lot of vets and animal health officials from the federal, state and local levels. It means some very welcome relief for our dairymen and women and our beef cattle ranchers, and they’ve earned it through their vigilance in protecting the health of their herds.”
Bovine TB was detected and subsequently eradicated in one herd in San Bernardino County in 2009, three in San Bernardino County in 2011, and one in Tulare County in 2013. No additional herds have been diagnosed with TB.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has completed its review of California’s TB eradication program and determined that the state now meets the requirements for accredited free status. California’s program included testing 1,444,122 cattle in several hundred herds. The program also encompasses rules to address other potential pathways for the disease to enter the state, including testing of breeding dairy cattle entering California and TB surveillance at slaughter plants.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium, a group of bacteria that usually affects the respiratory system. Bovine tuberculosis does not threaten the quality and safety of milk and meat products produced in California. Milk pasteurization destroys organisms that could be harmful to humans, including tuberculosis organisms. The state’s two raw milk dairies are regularly tested for tuberculosis. All cattle processed for meat are inspected for signs of tuberculosis infection and rejected if they show signs of the disease.