TB found in Texas Cattle

USDA Plan To Downgrade Texas Cattle

Federal officials plan to strip the Texas cattle industry of its tuberculosis-free status, a move that livestock producers fear could add millions of dollars to their costs and make it harder to sell their animals.

As part of the downgrade, the U.S. Agriculture
Department is expected to require widespread testing and tagging of Texas cattle sold across state lines beginning this spring.

Excluding a few dairy herds around El Paso, Texas
cattle have been declared tuberculosis-free since
November 2000. That USDA designation is valuable to producers because it lets them ship cattle out of state quickly and with less red tape.

But in the past year, high levels of tuberculosis
infection were found in dairy and beef cattle in West Texas and a beef herd in East Texas. Both herds, in Pecos and Fayette counties, were killed.

Richard Ferris, the USDA's veterinarian in charge for Texas, said that within 60 days the agency will publish an interim rule requiring the TB testing of breeding cattle being shipped out of state.

The rule will be expanded in January to other Texas cattle shipped out of state, he said - a move seen as a concession to Texas' powerful cattle industry.

About 10 percent of Texas' 14 million head of cattle are shipped out of state each year, state officials say. Texas is the nation's largest cattle-producing state.

"We know the impact is going to be huge," said Ross Wilson, vice president of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association in Amarillo. "We're at the point of discussing, how do we minimize this?"

In October 2000, USDA estimated that a TB downgrade could cost Texas cattle producers $260 million to $788 million over five to 10 years in extra costs and lost value of their herds.

Even some in the livestock industry consider those
figures unreliable, but few doubt that the USDA's move will hit hard. Texas would join Michigan as the only states whose herds aren't considered free of the often deadly disease.

"Producers in other states would be less likely to buy Texas cattle even if they had tested negative for TB," said Dan Baca, an epidemiologist for the state Animal Health Commission.

Baca added that inspecting more cattle will increase the risk that additional infected herds will be found.

Tuberculosis can be spread to humans, but public
health officials say this is rare in the United States because of milk pasteurization and inspection of carcasses of animals slaughtered for meat. Tuberculosis in humans is easily cured but can be fatal if not treated.

Praise God for the health instructions He has given to His people on eating meat. When I read things like this I am so thankful for the Spirit of Prophecy given to God's people.

A very serious objection to the practice of meat eating is found in the fact that disease is becoming more and more widespread among the animal creation. The curse because of sin causes the earth to groan under the inhabitants thereof, and every living thing is subject to disease and death. Cancers, tumors, diseases of the lungs, the liver, the kidneys, all exist among the animals that are used for food. Until late years we have never heard of anything approaching to the variety of diseases now apparent in the animal creation. It is stated that out of a herd of twenty cattle, the inspectors accepted only two; from another herd of one hundred, only twenty-five were accepted as having no apparent disease. The only way to avoid contracting disease from the use of flesh meats is to discard them altogether. Persons will do this much more readily if they have an intelligent knowledge of the dangers that attend the eating of the flesh of dead animals. {7MR 421.1}

In The Blessed Hope


[ April 04, 2002: Message edited by: Avalee ]