TITLE 4. AGRICULTURE

PART 2. TEXAS ANIMAL HEALTH COMMISSION

CHAPTER 38. TRICHOMONIASIS

4 TAC §38.6

The Texas Animal Health Commission (commission) adopts amendments to §38.6, concerning Official Trichomoniasis Tests, without changes to the proposed text as published in the May 26, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 2789).

The purpose of the amendments is to approve a new official Trichomoniasis test.

The Bovine Trich Working Group (TWG) met on April 11, 2017, to evaluate the effectiveness of current rules. The TWG discussed the program overview to date, the management of infected herds, entry requirements, and the need for possible revisions to the program.

The TWG recommended that the commission propose rules to authorize an additional official test. Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) is in the process of implementing an enhanced Trichomoniasis testing technology for the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. PCR is currently accepted as an official test or an official confirmatory test for Trichomoniasis. TVMDL's Direct Sample qPCR is an enhanced testing technology using PCR. Unlike the current PCR, the qPCR test does not require the sample to be incubated or placed in an InPouch. The TWG also recommended that the deadline for submitting samples to an approved laboratory remain at 96 hours, but encouraged submission of samples to be accomplished within 48 hours.

Further, the amendment adds the term InPouch to the culture testing requirement. This addition will ensure the sample is properly collected and submitted for testing.

The commission received two comments regarding the proposal, but no changes were made in response to the comments. One commenter made a comment regarding the difficulty of meeting the 96-hour submission timeframe instead of the 120-hour previously in the rule. Unfortunately, that was done through a previous rule amendment process and was not open for comments in this rule amendment. The other comment was supportive of the proposed testing using qPCR.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendments are adopted under the following statutory authority as found in Chapter 161 of the Texas Agriculture Code. The commission is vested by statute, §161.041(a), with the requirement to protect all livestock, domestic animals, and domestic fowl from disease. The commission is authorized, through §161.041(b), to act to eradicate or control any disease or agent of transmission for any disease that affects livestock.

Pursuant to §161.005, entitled "Commission Written Instruments", the commission may authorize the executive director or another employee to sign written instruments on behalf of the commission. A written instrument, including a quarantine or written notice signed under that authority, has the same force and effect as if signed by the entire commission.

Pursuant to §161.006, entitled "Documents to Accompany Shipment", if required that a certificate or permit accompany animals or commodities moved in this state, the document must be in the possession of the person in charge of the animals or commodities, if the movement is made by any other means.

Pursuant to §161.0417, entitled "Authorized Personnel for Disease Control", a person, including a veterinarian, must be authorized by the commission in order to engage in an activity that is part of a state or federal disease control or eradication program for animals. Section 161.0417 requires the commission to adopt necessary rules for the authorization of such persons and, after reasonable notice, to suspend or revoke a person's authorization if the commission determines that the person has substantially failed to comply with Chapter 161 or rules adopted under that chapter. Section 161.0417 does not affect the requirement for a license or an exemption under Chapter 801, Occupations Code, to practice veterinary medicine.

Pursuant to §161.046, entitled "Rules", the commission may adopt rules as necessary for the administration and enforcement of this chapter.

Pursuant to §161.048, entitled "Inspection of Shipment of Animals or Animal Products", the commission may require testing, vaccination, or another epidemiologically sound procedure before or after animals are moved. An agent of the commission is entitled to stop and inspect a shipment of animals or animal products being transported in this state in order to determine if the shipment originated from a quarantined area or herd; or determine if the shipment presents a danger to the public health or livestock industry through insect infestation or through a communicable or noncommunicable disease.

Pursuant to §161.061, entitled "Establishment", if the commission determines that a disease listed in §161.041 of this code or an agency of transmission of one of those diseases exists in a place in this state or among livestock, exotic livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl, or that a place in this state or livestock, exotic livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl are exposed to one of those diseases or an agency of transmission of one of those diseases, the commission shall establish a quarantine on the affected animals or on the affected place.

Pursuant to §161.101, entitled "Duty to Report", a veterinarian, a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, or a person having care, custody, or control of an animal shall report the existence of the diseases, if required by the commission, among livestock, exotic livestock, bison, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl to the commission within 24 hours after diagnosis of the disease.

Pursuant to §161.113, entitled "Testing or Treatment of Livestock", if the commission requires testing or vaccination under this subchapter, the testing or vaccination must be performed by an accredited veterinarian or qualified person authorized by the commission. The state may not be required to pay the cost of fees charged for the testing or vaccination. And if the commission requires the dipping of livestock under this subchapter, the livestock shall be submerged in a vat, sprayed, or treated in another sanitary manner prescribed by rule of the commission.

Pursuant to §161.114, entitled "Inspection of Livestock", an authorized inspector may examine livestock consigned to and delivered on the premises of a livestock market before the livestock are offered for sale. If the inspector considers it necessary, the inspector may have an animal tested or vaccinated. Any testing or vaccination must occur before the animal is removed from the livestock market.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 23, 2017.

TRD-201703280

Gene Snelson

General Counsel

Texas Animal Health Commission

Effective date: September 12, 2017

Proposal publication date: May 26, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 719-0722


CHAPTER 51. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

4 TAC §51.1, §51.8

The Texas Animal Health Commission (commission) adopts amendments to §51.1, concerning Definitions, and §51.8, concerning Cattle, without changes to the proposed text as published in the May 26, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 2790).

The purpose of the amendments is to address Bovine Trichomoniasis requirements to enter the state.

Bovine Trichomoniasis (Trich) is a venereal disease of cattle. The Trich organism causes abortion and extended calving seasons. Bulls will remain persistently infected and spread infection from cow to cow.

The Bovine Trich Working Group (TWG) met on April 11, 2017, to evaluate the effectiveness of current Trichomoniasis rules. The TWG discussed the program overview to date, the management of infected herds, entry requirements, and the need for possible revisions to the program.

The TWG recommended a revision to the commission's current entry requirement regarding the use of a virgin certificate for breeding bulls between 12 months and 18 months of age. Commission rules generally require that bulls 12 months of age or older have a negative Trich test within 60 days prior to entering Texas. However, bulls that are 18 months of age or younger and receive a virgin status certificate are exempt from this testing requirement. The TWG is concerned that this exemption provides an opportunity for unknown status bulls that are infected with Trich to enter the state. As such, the TWG recommended that the virgin status certification exemption be removed from the commission's rule.

The TWG recommended adding a testing requirement exemption for bulls that are 12 months of age or older, receive a permit from the commission prior to entry, and are moved directly to a federally approved livestock market. The certificate of veterinary inspection for the bull must include the entry permit number and a statement that the bull must be Trich tested or sold for slaughter. This recommendations is consistent with intrastate requirements for bulls being sold at markets. As such, the bulls entering under this exemption would be tracked using the existing infrastructure, which minimizes the risk of Trichomoniasis being spread by these bulls. For clarity, the commission is defining "directly", "federally approved market" and "Trichomoniasis" in the proposed rule.

The TWG also recommended the commission prohibit the entry of female cattle that originated from a known Trichomoniasis positive herd, or were exposed to known Trichomoniasis positive bull unless the animal is officially identified, obtains a commission issued permit and is moved directly to an approved slaughtering establishment, and accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection stating the animal is Trichomoniasis exposed.

The commission received four comments regarding the proposal, but no changes were made in response to the comments. One commenter was supportive of the proposed entry requirements. Another commenter indicated they had bought a breeding bull from a reputable breeder, but was later found to be infected. The commenter indicated it was probably because of infected cattle, which indicated to the commenter there was a need for regulations on cattle. The third commenter indicated that while desirable to contain Trich, the cost of a Trich test ($200), with a turnaround time (5 days) makes an inhospitable environment to control. It then becomes an encumbrance to interstate bull sales making the commenter believe that the proposed regulation needs to be tabled until database, commence, genetic, and accuracy concerns can be resolved. Another comment focused on the fact that the restrictions based on female cattle in the proposal should also be done within the State of Texas. The commenter went on to provide the commission specific feedback and guidance on an instate Trich program to address the problem with female cattle. The commission appreciates the comment and will evaluate it for future consideration in the appropriate chapter.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendments are adopted under the following statutory authority as found in Chapter 161 of the Texas Agriculture Code. The commission is vested by statute, §161.041(a), with the requirement to protect all livestock, domestic animals, and domestic fowl from disease. The commission is authorized, through §161.041(b), to act to eradicate or control any disease or agent of transmission for any disease that affects livestock.

Pursuant to §161.054, entitled "Regulation of Movement of Animals", the commission, by rule, may regulate the movement of animals. The commission may restrict the intrastate movement of animals even though the movement of the animals is unrestricted in interstate or international commerce.

Pursuant to §161.048, entitled "Inspection of Shipment of Animals or Animal Products", the commission may require testing, vaccination, or another epidemiologically sound procedure before or after animals are moved. An agent of the commission is entitled to stop and inspect a shipment of animals or animal products being transported in this state in order to determine if the shipment originated from a quarantined area or herd; or determine if the shipment presents a danger to the public health or livestock industry through insect infestation or through a communicable or noncommunicable disease.

Pursuant to §161.005, entitled "Commission Written Instruments", the commission may authorize the executive director or another employee to sign written instruments on behalf of the commission. A written instrument, including a quarantine or written notice signed under that authority, has the same force and effect as if signed by the entire commission.

Pursuant to §161.044, entitled "Regulation of Livestock Movement from Stockyards or Railway Shipping Pens", the commission may regulate the movement of livestock out of stockyards or railway shipping pens and require treatment or certification of those animals as reasonably necessary to protect against communicable diseases.

Pursuant to §161.046, entitled "Rules", the commission may adopt rules as necessary for the administration and enforcement of this chapter.

Pursuant to §161.049, entitled "Dealer Records", the commission may require a livestock, exotic livestock, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl dealer to maintain records of all livestock, exotic livestock, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl bought and sold by the dealer.

Pursuant to §161.061, entitled "Establishment", if the commission determines that a disease listed in §161.041 of this code or an agency of transmission of one of those diseases exists in a place in this state or among livestock, exotic livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl, or that a place in this state or livestock, exotic livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl are exposed to one of those diseases or an agency of transmission of one of those diseases, the commission shall establish a quarantine on the affected animals or on the affected place.

Pursuant to §161.081, entitled "Importation of Animals", the commission by rule may regulate the movement, including movement by a railroad company or other common carrier, of livestock, exotic livestock, domestic animals, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl into this state from another state, territory, or country.

Pursuant to §161.112, entitled "Rules", the commission shall adopt rules relating to the movement of livestock, exotic livestock, and exotic fowl from livestock markets and shall require tests, immunization, and dipping of those livestock as necessary to protect against the spread of communicable diseases.

Pursuant to §161.113, entitled "Testing or Treatment of Livestock", if the commission requires testing or vaccination under this subchapter, the testing or vaccination must be performed by an accredited veterinarian or qualified person authorized by the commission. The state may not be required to pay the cost of fees charged for the testing or vaccination. And if the commission requires the dipping of livestock under this subchapter, the livestock shall be submerged in a vat, sprayed, or treated in another sanitary manner prescribed by rule of the commission.

Pursuant to §161.114, entitled "Inspection of Livestock", an authorized inspector may examine livestock consigned to and delivered on the premises of a livestock market before the livestock are offered for sale. If the inspector considers it necessary, the inspector may have an animal tested or vaccinated. Any testing or vaccination must occur before the animal is removed from the livestock market.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 23, 2017.

TRD-201703281

Gene Snelson

General Counsel

Texas Animal Health Commission

Effective date: September 12, 2017

Proposal publication date: May 26, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 719-0722