U.S. achieves cattle brucellosis class free status

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, February 07, 2008

USDA has announced that all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have simultaneously achieved cattle brucellosis class free status.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Texas has been declared brucellosis free as the last and final state. Thus, all states are brucellosis free for the first time in the 74-year history of the brucellosis program.

The U.S. declaration comes almost 19 years after Australia was declared brucellosis free in August 1989, as part of its $1.5 billion Brucellosis and Tubercolsis Eradication Campaign started in 1970.

That was, in part, driven by U.S. market demands at that time. Australia was declared free of turburculosis in 1997.

The U.S. had been attempting to eradicate brucellosis since 1934, but eradiction of the disease was signifantly hampered by a state by state rather than a coordinated national approach.

The presence of brucellosis in free-ranging bison and elk in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park still threatens the brucellosis status of surrounding states.

In the U.S., class free status is based on a state finding no known brucellosis in cattle for the 12 months preceding designation as class free. A state’s class free status, however, can change if brucellosis is found in more than one herd of cattle.

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that causes decreased milk production, weight loss, infertility, loss of young and lameness in cattle, elk and bison. The disease is contagious and can, though rarely, affect humans. There is no known treatment for brucellosis.
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