WASHINGTON — The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Kathy Simmons today issued the following statement in response to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) announcing draft policy to allow animal health researchers to conduct brucellosis studies on cattle and other large animals that cannot be easily housed indoors.
“This announcement is welcome news for cattle producers that face uncertainty from wildlife, infected with brucellosis threatening the well-being of their animals and operations. Thank you to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, Undersecretary Greg Ibach, and their teams, for developing this framework to advance our ability to control and eradicate brucellosis through improved opportunities to study disease transmission between cattle and wildlife. This expanded research is a good first step and NCBA will continue to work with the Trump administration to further protect producers from threats due to brucellosis.”
USDA’s Cooperative State Federal Brucellosis Eradication Program has made significant progress in eliminating the disease from most of the United States. Brucellosis results in production losses of less than $1 million today, down from a high of $400 million in the 1950’s. Yet, continued advances are still needed — endemic Brucella abortus is expanding its range in the Greater Yellowstone area and Brucella suis is being found in feral swine populations throughout various areas of the United States.
–National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
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