The Canadian Record (Canadian, Tex.), Vol. 118, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 17, 2008 Page: 27 of 36
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THE CANADIAN RECORD
New regulations require identification
devices to move dairy cattle in Texas
Texas Animal Health Commission
(TAHC) cattle tuberculosis (TB) regulations
went into effect April 1, 2008, requiring an
approved identification device on dairy cattle
being moved wi thin the state.
If a calf, steer, heifer, bull or cow looks
like a dairy animal, make sure it has an of-
ficial identification device before it's moved
within the state, stresses Dr. Bob Blllman,
Texas' state veterinarian and head of the
Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC),
the state's livestock and poultry health regu-
"Dairy producers, calf raisers, feeders, or
beef cattle owners who have a few dairy ani-
mals must comply with this cattle tuberculosis
regulation that will aid in tracing cattle TB, if
t is introduced into Texas," said Dr. Hillman.
In October 2007, the TAHC enhanced cattle
TB and ID regulations for dairy animals en-
tering from other states.
"USDA ear tags, which have been used in
the Brucellosis and cattle TB programs for
years, are available from the TAHC area of-
fices at no charge for dairy cattle," said Dr.
Hillman. Cattle owners who use these tags
are to maintain a simple log of the animals
tagged. Information is to include the date a
tag is applied to the animal, the tag number,
and the animal's breed, sex and age. The rec-
ord keeping can be as simple as listing the tag
number, date and the animal's description, he
said. Tag pliers are not provided, but they are
available for purchase at most agricultural
supply stores. Once applied, the identifica-
tion is to remain on the animal. Producers
not familiar with their TAHC area office can
call the agency headquarters n Austin at
(800)550-8242 for information.
Alternatively, cattle owners may purchase
and use any of the following approved identi ■
fication devices for dairy cattle:
•Electronic official AIN tags, differenti-
ated by the first three digits of the fifteen-
• Manufacturer code "900" series RFID
(radio frequency identification devices) tags,
available from many feed or supply stores;
• USA prefix RFID tags;
•Country code "840" series RFID tags.
To use these, producers need to register their
premises in the National Animal Identifica-
tion System. This can be accomplished eas-
ly and at no charge by calling the TAHC at
•A commercially produced cattle-style
clip, flap or button tag that identifies owner
and includes a unique animal number in the
Although dairy animals are no more sus-
ceptible to cattle TB than beef cattle, their
close confinement and movement between
herds presents a greater risk of exposure to
the bacterial disease, if an nfected animal is
ntroduced into the herd.
Dr. Hillman explained that cattle TB has
not been eradicated in the U.S. At least 12 in-
fected beef herds have been detected in Min-
nesota since 2006, a state where infection had
not been found since 1971. On April 9, Minne-
sota was downgraded to modified accredited
status, the third lowest rung on the five -tiered
cattle TB ranking system. In February, TB
infection was detected in a large California
dairy, and in 2007, infection was detected in
New Mexico, Colorado and Oklahoma. For
years, Michigan has battled the disease both
n cattle and free-ranging deer.
Texas lost cattle TB-free status in 2002,
but regained it in fall 2006 after employing
plan that included TB testing of dair-
ies and purebred beef herds, and enhancing
"Preventing the introduction of cattle TB
is crucial," said Dr. Hillman. "But, we must
be prepared to deal with infection, if it does
slip through. Identifying dairy and dairy-
cross animals will enable us to complete epi-
demiological nvestigations more quickly, so
infection can be
eliminated before it spreads to more
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Brown, Laurie Ezzell. The Canadian Record (Canadian, Tex.), Vol. 118, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 17, 2008, newspaper, April 17, 2008; Canadian, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth252700/m1/27/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hemphill County Library.