July 5, 2005
BSE Investigation Updates Available
The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), the state's livestock and poultry health regulatory agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have jointly assigned a state-federal team to conduct the epidemiological investigation of the 12-year-old Texas cow that tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) June 24.
Any updates in the epidemiological investigation can be viewed at www.tahc.state.tx.us or www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/epi-updates/bse-epi_report.html. Beginning today, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) intends to post these updates on its Web site at noon daily. Fact sheets, transcripts of news briefings, releases and reports regarding BSE are also available.
"The TAHC and U.S. Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Services are working with a complement of experts from federal and state animal health, food safety, public health and feed regulatory agencies to ensure the continued safety and wholesomeness of our meat supply," said Bob Hillman, Texas state veterinarian and executive director of the TAHC. "Epidemiological investigations are thorough and focus on verifying the herd of origin, and when, where and how the animal and, potentially, any herdmates were exposed to the abnormal prion, or disease agent, that causes BSE. Additionally, epidemiology investigations trace the infected animal's movement and herdmates. Animals potentially exposed to the disease will be depopulated, with proper disposal. The animals will not be introduced into the human or animal food chain."
VS Quarantine Released
The vesicular stomatitis (VS) quarantine on two horses on a Travis County, Texas, premises has been released. Currently, Texas has no animals or premises under quarantine for the sporadically occurring blistering disease that can affect horses, cattle, swine and a number of other species.
Until the threat of VS ceases to exist, Hillman has directed all Texas accredited veterinarians who write a certificate of veterinary inspection for any livestock moving interstate from Texas to make the following determination and provide this statement on the certificate:
"The animals represented on this certificate of veterinary inspection have not originated from a premises or area under quarantine for vesicular stomatitis or a premises on which VS has been diagnosed in the past 30 days. I have examined the animals and have found no signs of vesicular stomatitis."
Furthermore, animals entering Texas from a state affected by vesicular stomatitis must have a current certificate of veterinary inspection with this statement.
Although the Texas VS quarantine has been released, producers should still call the state of destination prior to travel to ensure their animals have met all entry requirements. Information about VS and cases in affected states may be accessed through TAHC's Web site, www.tahc.state.tx.us.
The latest report indicates Arizona has 19 premises under quarantine, and New Mexico and Utah have two premises each under quarantine.
Information provided by TAHC.
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