Brucellosis zone proposed
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
November 12, 2008
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a National Brucellosis Elimination Zone ("NBEZ") Proposal as a preliminary step to drafting proposed rules.
The NBEZ would include the tri-state corner of the Greater Yellowstone Area. Rather than having split-state brucellosis status for cattle marketing purposes, this proposal would create a specially recognized national zone.
According to the proposal: "As an alternative to split-state status, APHIS-VS is proposing to define a high-risk zone for livestock, the NBEZ, to reduce the impact of brucellosis in the affected GYA states. This proposal would offer several advantages. Similar to split-state status, creation of the NBEZ would allow the remainder of the state to maintain its brucellosis free status.
However, the NBEZ would allow flexibility in modifying the boundaries of the zone as the risks associated with B. abortus change. In contrast, split-state status would require a new application to redefine the classification areas, delaying the designation. "
"This zone would encompass an area around the GYA where potential exposure to B. abortus could occur. The official NBEZ boundaries will be established based on a risk assessment that considers current brucellosis surveillance and control practices in both livestock and wildlife in the GYA, the risk factors associated with transmission of brucellosis, and other ecological factors.
"Implementation of this concept would allow the remainder of each state outside the NBEZ to maintain Class Free status regardless of detection of disease in livestock within the NBEZ."
The proposal notes that an intensive disease surveillance program must be included: "Herd-level surveillance will include movement testing, investigations of abortion events, and serologic testing of herds. Again, the amount and frequency of herd testing required will depend on the herd-risk status.
"Electronic movement certificates and animal identification should be used for animals leaving the NBEZ to ensure compliance with appropriate testing requirements. This will also ensure that effective trace investigations associated with affected livestock can be performed. Additional mitigations, such as vaccination and restricting movement of livestock only to slaughter, may also be applied."
Click below to download the proposal.