AUSTIN – The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) is accepting comments on rules proposed at the January 15, 2013, Commission meeting. The proposals are to amend Chapter 40, entitled “Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)”, Chapter 41, entitled “Fever Ticks”, and Chapter 55, entitled “Swine”. These rules are published in the Texas Register with a comment period of 30 days. The comment period for these proposals ends on Monday, March 4, 2013, at 5:00 p.m.

The proposed amendment to Chapter 40 “Chronic Wasting Disease” is to repeal and replace Section 40.5 “Elk Testing Requirements” with a new Section 40.5 “Movement Requirements for CWD Susceptible Species”. The purpose of this rule is to revise the current surveillance requirements for intrastate movement of elk to include red deer and Sika deer. The rule as proposed will require that these susceptible species participate in the program and test 20% of all mortalities. For this program, the test age is set at 16 months and resembles the program administered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s white-tail deer breeder program.

The proposed amendment to Chapter 41 “Fever Ticks” is for Section 41.9 “Vacation and Inspection of a Premise”. This amendment will add a requirement that all cattle in the Permanent Quarantine Zone be identified with permanent official identification and be presented annually for inspection.

The proposed amendment to Chapter 55 “Swine” is for Section 55.5 “Pseudorabies”. This amendment is to update the testing timeframe for releasing swine that have been quarantined for exposure to Pseudorabies. This is in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services’ National Pseudorabies Eradication Program. The current rule requires swine to have two consecutive negative herd tests not less than 60 days from the removal of the last reactor. The changes proposed to Section 55.5 will now allow swine to be released from quarantine with one negative herd test not less than 30 days from removal of the last reactor. “The TAHC is committed to making each of these programs successful. Our ultimate goal is to enhance and ensure Texas’ livestock and poultry marketability,” said Dr. Dee Ellis, TAHC Executive Director and State Veterinarian.

A detailed explanation of the three rule proposals is available on the TAHC web site.

The TAHC rule proposals have a comment period of 30 days. The TAHC encourages and appreciates all comments. Comments on the proposed regulations must be submitted in writing to Carol Pivonka, Texas Animal Health Commission, 2105 Kramer Lane, Austin, Texas 78758, by fax at (512) 719-0721, or by email. The deadline for comment submissions is Monday, March 4, 2013, at 5:00 p.m.

For more information, visit www.tahc.texas.gov or call 1-800-550-8242.

Founded in 1893, the Texas Animal Health Commission works to protect the health of all Texas livestock, including: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, goats, equine animals, and exotic livestock.