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S.D. rescinds brucellosis test on Idaho cattle

Carol Ryan Dumas

Capital Press

South Dakota has lifted its requirement that all Idaho cattle entering the state must be tested for brucellosis. North Dakota's restriction remains in place.

The South Dakota Animal Industry Board has rescinded its requirement that Idaho cattle coming into the state be tested for brucellosis, which has been in place since April 2013.

A new permitting process to insure that Idaho cattle leaving the brucellosis Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) in the vicinity of Yellowstone National Park are being tested, said Dustin Oedekoven, South Dakota state veterinarian.

The Animal Industry Board is now comfortable those cattle are being tested and relaxed the requirement July 15, he said.

The testing requirement was put into place following a USDA report stating there was lack of controls or testing in cattle coming out of the DSA. South Dakota has no oversight of those cattle, so the simplest thing to do was to put a testing requirement on all Idaho cattle entering South Dakota, he said.

There is a risk of brucellosis transmission from free-ranging bison and elk to cattle adjacent to Yellowstone, and there are testing requirements to keep the disease from spreading to other states, he said.

South Dakota was classified brucellosis-free in 2000, but the devastating losses caused by the disease are still fresh in people’s minds, he said.

Brucellosis causes abortions, infertility and lowered milk production in cattle and bison and there is no cure for the disease.

South Dakota has lifted the testing requirement on all Idaho cattle but that same requirement remains in North Dakota, said Idaho State Veterinarian Bill Barton.

The requirement in those states came about because they weren’t convinced Idaho was testing cattle moving out of the DSA, he said.

A rule change in Idaho’s brucellosis eradication program added additional testing requirements in March of 2012. USDA’s review was done in September and October of 2012. The program had not been in place that long, and cattle hadn’t yet moved out of the DSA in the fall, he said.

So when the review came out, it looked like Idaho wasn’t doing much testing. There was a dramatic increase in testing the following year, he said.

“If you can show other states you’re doing adequate testing, they are comfortable,” he said.

So a permitting requirement was put in place in March of this year to give other state’s that reassurance, he said.

Producers moving cattle out of the DSA need to call the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, Animal Industry Division at least 24 hours in advance of moving and provide information including the date of the required brucellosis test. If the animals have not been tested, ISDA will make arrangements for that testing, Barton said.

The permitting process is not onerous, but Barton reminds producers utilizing the DSA that it is required and grants penalty authority to Idaho’s Ag Department.

“And I’m going to take it seriously because we cannot afford to have any more restrictions set on our cattle,” he said.



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