ATTN: U.S. Elk Ranchers

January 13, 2016


The USDA’s Proposed Brucellosis & TB Rule May Impact Your Interstate Movement


HOWARD LAKE, MN- The North American Elk Breeders Association is giving its membership an early notice on possible changes to interstate movement requirements. Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture published its proposed rule for TB and Brucellosis for cervids, bison and cattle. You may want to consider becoming Brucellosis certified and TB accredited immediately.  


After NAEBA and other cervid leaders had an opportunity to go through the document, several problems were been identified. There most notable concern is the whole herd Brucellosis testing mandates for non-certified herds to move interstate. Currently, each state handles their import requirements on their own by requiring individual testing on animals with a certain amount of days prior to movement. Instead, this proposed rule) § 76.16 2(a) says “The cervids originate from a herd that was subjected to a herd test using an official test for brucellosis and an official test for bovine tuberculosis no more than 1 year and no less than 120 days prior to movement, with negative results; and (B) The cervids are additionally tested for brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis using an individual official test no more than 60 days prior to movement, with negative results.” This proposed change will not affect herds that currently both TB accredited and Brucellosis certified.

Therefore, if this proposed rule is unchanged, herds that are currently not Brucellosis certified and TB accredited would have to do a whole herd before 120 days of movement.


The elk industry in the United States, as a whole, has very few Brucellosis certified herds. It is the hope of NAEBA and other associations that this language can be amended because of the great disturbance it would have on interstate movement.  If these herds are not able to move animals as a result of this new rule, particularly by breeding season, NAEBA estimates the 2016 economic impact to be in the millions.   


NAEBA will be finalizing a complete list of concerns to be listed in the March newsletter. It is essential NAEBA members and cervid producers everywhere submit a comment to the USDA at the appropriate time urging them to delete the language in 76.16 2(A). The comment period ends March 15 and NAEBA will instruct you how to post your comment.  


We will work to change this proposed requirement but for those of you who are skeptical of the government and want to be proactive, you may want to consider becoming brucellosis certified and TB accredited immediately.
 
Thank you and please let us know if you have any questions,
 
Travis Lowe
Executive Director
 


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