For Immediate Release: June 20, 2011
Contact: Carmen Fenton, 512-469-0171
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, the state’s oldest and largest livestock association, passed policy regarding the state’s brucellosis program. The policy was approved Friday at the TSCRA Summer Meeting in New Braunfels.
The policy was in response to recent state budget cuts that could affect the current status of the state’s brucellosis program.
“It is critical that Texas maintain its brucellosis free status,” said Joe Parker Jr., rancher and TSCRA president. “The state’s budget cuts have created some challenges, but cattle raisers are ready to work alongside the Texas Animal Health Commission and USDA to overcome those challenges and keep Texas a brucellosis free state.”
Any budget driven changes to the state brucellosis program should not appreciably increase the risk for brucellosis in the state cattle herd; should be in compliance with the national brucellosis program; and should not impact interstate movement of Texas cattle due to restrictions and/or increased brucellosis testing requirement s imposed by other states.
TSCRA supports changes to the state program that supports the following:
* Discontinuation of the mandatory requirement of first point brucellosis testing at all auction, private and show sales.
* Encouragement of voluntary brucellosis testing, especially for cattle returning to herds for breeding purposes.
* Continued emphasis on brucellosis vaccination of heifers as recommended by the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC).
* Establish, together with the TAHC, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other cattle industry stakeholders, compliance requirements that will keep Texas brucellosis free.
* Establish first point and packer level surveillance procedures to measure compliance with federal requirements.
TSCRA also approved policies that support federal legislation to remove the 20-year age limitation for the USDA’s fence replacement cost share eligibility program when the fences are destroyed by a natural disaster; as well as allow costs of replacing fences destroyed by natural disasters to be fully tax deductible in the year they are replaced.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is a 134-year-old trade organization. As the largest and oldest livestock association in Texas, TSCRA represents more than 15,000 beef cattle producers, ranching families and businesses who manage approximately 4 million head of cattle on 75.9 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. TSCRA provides law enforcement and livestock inspection services, legislative and regulatory advocacy, industry news and information, insurance services and educational opportunities for its members and the industry.