TITLE 4. AGRICULTURE

PART 2. TEXAS ANIMAL HEALTH COMMISSION

CHAPTER 38. TRICHOMONIASIS

4 TAC §§38.1 - 38.3, 38.6

EXPLANATION OF PROPOSED RULE

The Texas Animal Health Commission (commission) proposes amendments to Chapter 38, §§38.1 - 38.3, and 38.6, concerning "Trichomoniasis".

The Bovine Trichomoniasis (Trich) Working Group (TWG) had an annual review on April 23, 2019, to evaluate the effectiveness of current program. The TWG discussed the program overview to date, the management of infected herds, and the need for possible revisions to the program.

The group recommends that three changes be made in the control program. The first is to ensure that samples pooled by approved laboratories are not authorized for official test purposes from Trich positive herds, herds identified as being adjacent to Trich positive herds and change of ownership. These need to be individually submitted samples so as to improve the quality of the test sample as well as to provide quicker identification for follow up on the positive animals.

The second recommendation is to limit the use of a virgin certificate as an exemption to the test requirements. The proposed rule provides that sexually intact male cattle under 18 months of age, or verified by birth date listed on the breed registry papers, must be certified by the breeder on a virgin certificate in order for the animal to be sold without a test. Therefore, it is proposed that the use of virgin certificates be restricted to breeder animals that belong to a breed registry which maintains an official list of animals within a specific breed for which there is an association of unique identification for the cattle.

The third recommendation is that a seller must provide written disclosure for female cattle that have been exposed or potentially exposed to a Trich positive bull within the previous 6 months at the time of sale. There is not any easy diagnostic method to disclose female cattle that are positive with Trich. This provision will allow a buyer of female cattle to take this information into account for managing the newly purchased females for breeding purposes. The commission seeks specific comments on the proposed language as to what will be most effective as a herd management tool.

FISCAL NOTE

Ms. Larissa Schmidt, Chief of Staff, Texas Animal Health Commission, has determined for the first five-year period the rules are in effect, there will be no significant additional fiscal implications for state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

REGULATORY ANALYSIS

Public Benefit:

Ms. Schmidt has also determined that for each year of the first five years the rules are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rules will be more efficient rules to recognize a test that is easier to collect and submit in a timely manner.

Local Employment Impact Statement:

In accordance with Texas Government Code §2001.022, this agency has determined that the proposed rules will not impact local economies and, therefore, did not file a request for a local employment impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission.

Takings Assessment:

The agency has determined that the proposed governmental action will not affect private real property. The proposed amendments are an activity related to the handling of animals, including requirements for testing, movement, inspection, identification, reporting of disease, and treatment, in accordance with 4 TAC §59.7, and are, therefore, compliant with the Private Real Property Preservation Act in Government Code, Chapter 2007.

Economic Impact Statement: The Commission has determined that the animal agricultural industries meet the statutory definition of a small or microbusiness (Government Code, Chapter 2006), and that the proposed rule would affect rural communities (as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2006); however, the Commission also has determined that the rule, as proposed, will not result in adverse economic impacts to small and microbusinesses or rural communities because the rule applies to all cattle tested for the disease and determined to be positive and the requirements are intended to prevent exposure of positive cattle to other cattle in the state, thereby protecting other microbusiness. The rule is ensuring that bulls sold as virgins can be properly validated and that a cattle owner recognizes that pooled samples cannot be used for an official test because the test quality is more easily degraded and a positive test means that the five animals have to be retested to determine and isolate which of the five bulls was positive. The disclosure requirement just provides parties animal health information that may assist in the management of the purchased animals.

The estimated number of cattle ranchers that could be impacted by proposed the rule is 2,533. The potential economic impact is counter balanced by having great integrity in the test requirements of the control program. The test for an individual sample is estimated to cost between $30.00 and- $120.00. This cost is negated by the increased potential market value of the bull found test-negative for Trichomoniasis.

The Trich Control program has evolved to the point of effectively being able to identify and address Trich positive animals. The program changes will add greater integrity to the current protocols regarding qualification for virgin certificates, ensuring that pooling of test samples does not qualify as an official test at approved laboratories, and adding a new requirement for full disclosure when selling a female animal for breeding purposes that has been exposed or potentially exposed to Trichomoniasis in the previous 6 months. There is not an alternative method of achieving the purpose of the proposed rule.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis includes:

These proposed amendments achieve the purpose of improved quality control of a disease program to reduce risk and exposure while minimizing adverse impacts on affected small businesses and/or rural communities, if consistent with the health, safety, and environmental and economic welfare of the state. The changes proposed are intended to ensure that cattle disclosed as being Trich Positive or exposed to Trich positive animals are not sold to an unwitting purchaser and thereby creating an economic hardship on them.

Government Growth Impact Statement: In compliance with the requirements of Government Code, §2001.0221, the Commission has prepared the following Government Growth Impact Statement (GGIS). The rule as proposed, if adopted, will: (1) neither create nor eliminate a government program; (2) not result in an increase or decrease in the number of full-time equivalent employee needs; (3) not result in a need for additional General Revenue funding; (4) not affect the amount of any fee; (5) it modifies a pre-existing disease control program requirement to further reduce exposure of this disease to other cattle; (6) it does not expand an existing regulation; (7) it may increase the number of individuals subject to regulation; and (8) it will not adversely affect the state's economy.

Rule Reduction Statement: The commission has determined that the rule as proposed follows the legislative requirement that the commission shall protect all cattle within the state from diseases that pose a negative disease risk to the Texas cattle industry. It does not impose a direct cost on regulated persons within the state but rather modifies existing disease control requirements for positive cattle in order to protect the Texas Cattle industry, and therefore it is not necessary to repeal or amend any other existing rule.

REQUEST FOR COMMENT

Comments regarding the proposal may be submitted to Amanda Bernhard, Texas Animal Health Commission, 2105 Kramer Lane, Austin, Texas 78758, by fax at (512) 719-0719 or by email at "comments@tahc.texas.gov".

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendments are proposed 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.

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.

No other statutes, articles or codes are affected by the proposal.

§38.1.Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the defined meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) Accredited Veterinarian--A licensed veterinarian who is approved to perform specified functions required by cooperative state-federal disease control and eradication programs pursuant to Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 160 and 161.

(2) Affected Herd--Any herd in which any cattle have been classified as Trichomonas foetus positive on an official test and which has not completed the requirements for elimination of the disease from the herd.

(3) Cattle--All dairy and beef animals (genus Bos), excluding bison (genus Bison).

(4) Certified Veterinarians--Veterinarians certified with, and approved by the commission to collect Trichomoniasis samples for official Trichomoniasis testing and to perform any other official function under the Trichomoniasis program.

(5) Commission--The Texas Animal Health Commission.

(6) Executive Director--The Executive Director of the Texas Animal Health Commission or his designee.

(7) Exempt Cattle (from testing requirements)--Cattle that have been physically rendered incapable of intromission at a facility recognized by the commission.

(8) Exposed Cattle--Cattle that are part of an affected herd or cattle that have been in contact with Trichomoniasis infected cattle.

(9) Herd--

(A) All cattle under common ownership or supervision or cattle owned by a spouse that are on one premise; or

(B) All cattle under common ownership or supervision or cattle owned by a spouse on two or more premises that are geographically separated, but on which the cattle have been interchanged or where there has been contact among the cattle on the different premises. Contact between cattle on the different premises will be assumed unless the owner establishes otherwise and the results of the epidemiological investigation are consistent with the lack of contact between premises; or

(C) All cattle on common premises, such as community pastures or grazing association units, but owned by different persons. Other cattle owned by the persons involved which are located on other premises are considered to be part of this herd unless the epidemiological investigation establishes that cattle from the affected herd have not had the opportunity for direct or indirect contact with cattle from that specific premises. Approved feedlots and approved pastures are not considered to be herds.

(10) Herd Test--An official test of all non-virgin bulls in a herd.

(11) Hold Order--A document restricting movement of a herd, unit, or individual animal pending the determination of disease status.

(12) Infected Cattle--Any cattle determined by an official test or diagnostic procedure to be infected with Trichomoniasis or diagnosed by a veterinarian as infected.

(13) Infected Herd--The non-virgin bulls in any herd in which any cattle have been determined by an official test or diagnostic procedure to be infected with Trichomoniasis or diagnosed by a veterinarian as being infected.

(14) Movement Permit--Authorization for movement of infected or exposed cattle from the farm or ranch of origin through marketing channels to slaughter or for movement of untested animals to a location where the animals will be held under hold order until testing has been accomplished.

(15) Movement Restrictions--A "Hold Order," "Quarantine," or other written document issued or ordered by the commission to restrict the movement of livestock or exotic livestock.

(16) Negative--Cattle that have been tested with official test procedures and found to be free from infection with Trichomoniasis.

(17) Official Identification/Officially Identified--The identification of livestock by means of an official identification device, official eartag, registration tattoo, or registration brand, or any other method approved by the commission and/or Administrator of APHIS that provides unique identification for each animal. Official identification includes USDA alpha-numeric metal eartags (silver bangs tags), 840 RFID tags, 840 bangle tags, official breed registry tattoos, and official breed registry individual animal brands.

(18) Official Trichomoniasis Test--A test for bovine Trichomoniasis, approved by the commission, applied and reported by TVMDL or any other laboratory approved as an official laboratory by the commission. The test document is valid for 60 days, provided the bull is isolated from female cattle at all times, and may be transferred within that timeframe with an original signature of the consignor.

(19) Official Laboratory Pooled Trichomoniasis test samples--Up to five samples individually collected by a veterinarian and packaged and submitted to an official laboratory which can then pool the samples.

(20) Positive--Cattle that have been tested with official test procedures and found to be infected with Trichomoniasis.

(21) Quarantine--A written commission document or a verbal order followed by a written order restricting movement of animals because of the existence of or exposure to Trichomoniasis. The commission may establish a quarantine on the affected animals or on the affected place. The quarantine of an affected place may extend to any affected area, including a county, district, pasture, lot, ranch, farm, field, range, thoroughfare, building, stable, or stockyard pen. The commission may establish a quarantine to prohibit or regulate the movement of any article or animal that the commission designates to be a carrier of Trichomoniasis and/or an animal into an affected area, including a county district, pasture, lot, ranch, farm, field, range, thoroughfare, building, stable, or stockyard pen.

(22) Registered Breeding Cattle--Cattle that belong to a breed registry, which maintains an official list of animals within a specific breed for which there is an association of unique identification for each head of cattle.

(23) [(22)] Test-Eligible Cattle--All sexually intact non-virgin male cattle and all sexually intact male cattle which have erupting or erupted permanent incisor teeth (or older), which are being sold, leased, gifted or exchanged in the state of Texas for breeding purposes.

(24) [(23)] Trichomoniasis--A venereal disease of cattle caused by the organism Trichomonas foetus.

(25) [(24)] TVMDL--The official laboratory for testing is the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.

(26) [(25)] Virgin Bull--Sexually intact male registered breeding cattle which have not serviced a cow and which are not more than 18 months of age as determined by the eruption of the two permanent central incisors or birth date on breed registry papers certified by the breeder; or not more than 30 months of age and certified by both the breeder based on birth date and confirmed by his veterinarian that the bull facility is sufficient to prevent contact with female cattle. The virgin certification by the breeder is valid for 60 days, provided the bull is isolated from female cattle at all times, and may be transferred within that timeframe with an original signature of the consignor.

§38.2.General Requirements.

(a) Test Requirements. All Texas origin bulls sold, leased, gifted, exchanged or otherwise changing possession for breeding purposes in the State of Texas shall meet the following testing or certification requirements prior to sale or change of ownership in the state:

(1) Be certified as virgin, by the breeder or his representative, on and accompanied by a breeder's certificate of virgin status; or

(2) If from a herd of unknown status (a herd that has not had a whole herd test), be tested negative on three consecutive culture tests conducted not less than seven days apart or one RT-PCR test conducted within 60 days of sale or movement, be held separate from all female cattle since the test sample was collected, and be accompanied by a Trichomoniasis test record showing the negative test results.

(b) Identification of Bulls. All bulls certified as virgin bulls shall be identified by an official identification device or method on the breeder's certification of virgin status. All bulls tested for Trichomoniasis shall be officially identified at the time the initial test sample is collected. That official identification shall be recorded on the test documents prior to submittal.

(c) Confirmatory Test. The owner of any bull which tests positive for Trichomoniasis may request in writing, within five days of the positive test, that the commission allow a confirmatory test be performed on the positive bull. If the confirmatory test is positive the bull will be classified as infected with Trichomoniasis. If the confirmatory test is negative the bull shall be retested in not less than seven days to determine its disease status. If the confirmatory test reveals that the bull is only infected with fecal trichomonads, the test may be considered negative.

(d) Untested Bulls. Bulls presented for sale without a breeder's certification of virgin status for registered breeding cattle or a Trichomoniasis test record showing negative test results may:

(1) Be sold for movement only directly to slaughter; or

(2) Be sold for movement to an approved feedlot and then moved to slaughter or transported back to a livestock market under permit, issued by commission personnel, to be sold in accordance with this chapter; or

(3) Be sold and moved under a Hold Order to such place as specified by the commission for testing to change status from a slaughter bull. Such bulls shall be officially individually identified with a permanent form of identification prior to movement, move to the designated location on a movement permit, and be held in isolation from female cattle at the designated location where the bull shall undergo three consecutive culture tests at least seven days apart or one RT-PCR test. If the results of any test are positive, all bulls in the herd of origin of the positive bull shall be placed under hold order and tested as provided by subsection (e) of this section. The positive bull shall be classified as infected and be permitted for movement only directly to slaughter or to a livestock market for sale directly to slaughter; or

(4) Be sold and moved to another physical location under permit issued by commission personnel, and then to a livestock market or location to be resold within seven days from the date of issuance. The bull cannot be commingled with female cattle during the seven days.

(e) Herd of Origin or Unit Testing.

(1) All bulls that are part of a herd of origin from which a bull is sold in accordance with subsection (d)(3) of this section and is found to be infected with Trichomoniasis shall be placed under hold order and officially tested for Trichomoniasis.

(2) All bulls that are part of a unit of origin, as epidemiologically determined by the commission, from which a bull becomes separated and that bull is found to be positive for Trichomoniasis shall be placed under a hold order and officially tested for Trichomoniasis. All bulls that are part of the unit on which the separated positive bull was located, as epidemiologically determined by the commission, shall also be placed under hold order and officially tested for Trichomoniasis.

(3) Officially tested, as used in this subsection, requires at a minimum three official culture tests conducted not less than seven days apart, or one official RT-PCR test. If the results of any test that are required by this subsection are positive, the herd shall be tested as provided by §38.3 of this chapter (relating to Infected Herds).

§38.3.Infected Herds.

(a) Bulls that have been determined to be infected by culture or by RT- PCR test and/or by confirmatory RT-PCR test shall be placed under hold order along with all other non-virgin bulls in the bull herd. Infected bulls must be isolated from all female cattle from the time of diagnosis until final disposition or as directed by the commission. Breeding bulls which have been disclosed as reactors may be retested provided: the owners, or their agents initiate a request to the TAHC Regional Director where the bull is located; that retests are conducted within 30 days after the date of the original test; test samples for retests are submitted to the TVMDL for testing; and the positive bull is held under quarantine along with all other exposed bulls on the premise. If they are retested, they must have two negative tests by RT-PCR to be released within 30 days of the initial test.

(b) Positive bulls may be moved directly to slaughter or to a livestock market for sale directly to slaughter. In order to move, the bulls shall be individually identified by official identification device on a movement permit authorized by the commission from the ranch to the market and from the market to the slaughter facility, or from the ranch directly to the slaughter facility. Movement to slaughter shall occur within 30 days from disclosure of positive test results (or confirmatory test results) or as directed by the commission.

(c) All bulls that are part of a herd in which one or more bulls have been found to be infected shall be placed under hold order in isolation away from female cattle until they have undergone at least two additional culture tests with negative results (not less than a total of three negative culture tests or two negative RT-PCR tests) within 60 days of the initial test unless handled in accordance with subsection (d) of this section. All bulls remaining in the herd from which an infected bull(s) has been identified must be tested two more times by culture or one more time by RT-PCR test. Any bull positive on the second or third test shall be classified as positive. All bulls negative to all three culture tests or both RT-PCR tests shall be classified as negative and could be released for breeding.

(d) Breeding bulls that are part of a quarantined herd or a herd that is under a hold order and tests negative to the first official Trichomoniasis test may be maintained with the herd if the owner or caretaker of the bulls develops a Trichomoniasis herd control plan with a certified veterinarian. The Trichomoniasis herd control plan shall require all breeding bulls to be tested annually with an official Trichomoniasis test and include other best management practices to control, eliminate and prevent the spread of Trichomoniasis. The Trichomoniasis herd control plan, unless otherwise approved or disapproved by the commission, expires three years from the date the plan is signed by the herd owner or caretaker and the authorized veterinarian. Breeding bulls that are part of a Trichomoniasis herd control plan that expires or that is disapproved must be tested for Trichomoniasis as required by subsection (c) of this section.

(e) When Trichomoniasis is diagnosed in female cattle or fetal tissue, all breeding bulls associated with the herd will be restricted under a Hold Order for testing in accordance with this section.

(f) If male or female cattle are found to be infected with Trichomoniasis, then bulls that are located or were located on property adjacent to the infected animal within 30 days from the date the infected animal was removed from such property shall be officially tested for Trichomoniasis. Such bulls shall be tested within a timeframe as determined by the commission. The commission shall provide written notification to the owner or caretaker of the bulls specifying the timeframe in which the bulls must be tested. The commission may waive this testing requirement if it is epidemiologically determined by the commission that testing is not required.

(g) A seller of female cattle that were exposed or potentially exposed to a Trichomoniasis positive bull within the previous six months shall disclose, this information, in writing, prior to or at the time of sale.

§38.6.Official Trichomoniasis Tests.

Approved Tests. Approved tests for Trichomoniasis testing within the State of Texas shall include the culture or Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing of samples collected by certified veterinarians following approved collection, handling and shipping protocols, then tested in approved laboratories.

(1) Official Culture Tests. An official test is one in which the sample, collected in an InPouch, is received in the official laboratory, in good condition, within 48 hours of collection or is incubated in an InPouch by the collecting veterinarian for 48 hours after collection, and such sample is submitted to be tested according to the "Official Protocol for Culture of Trichomoniasis." Samples in transit for more than 48 hours will not be accepted for official culture testing. During transportation, the organisms should be protected from exposure to daylight and extremes of temperature, which should remain above 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) and below 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

(2) Official Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests. Polymerase Chain Reaction is accepted as an official test or an official confirmatory test when completed by a qualified laboratory, approved by the Executive Director, and meets the following requirements:

(A) A Trichomoniasis sample submitted in an InPouch must be received in the official laboratory, in good condition, within 48 hours of collection or incubated by the collecting veterinarian for 48 hours after collection and submitted to arrive at the laboratory within 96 hours of collection. Trichomoniasis samples pooled at the laboratory may qualify as official tests at a ratio of up to five individually collected samples pooled for one test, excluding those submitted from Trichomoniasis positive herds, herds identified as being adjacent to Trichomoniasis positive herds and change of ownership . Veterinary practitioners may not submit pooled samples for an official test.

(B) A Trichomoniasis sample submitted in phosphate buffered saline must be received in the official laboratory, in good condition, within 96 hours of collection.

(3) Other Official Tests. Other tests for Trichomoniasis may be approved by the Commission, as official tests, after the tests have been proven effective by research, have been evaluated sufficiently to determine efficacy, and a protocol for use of the test has been established.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 23, 2019.

TRD-201901557

Larissa Schmidt

Chief of Staff

Texas Animal Health Commission

Earliest possible date of adoption: July 7, 2019

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


CHAPTER 44. BOVINE VIRAL DIARRHEA VIRUS

4 TAC §44.1, §44.2

EXPLANATION OF PROPOSED RULE

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) proposes a new Chapter 44 for the purpose of establishing a Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) control program.

Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) is an economically impactful disease of cattle with a worldwide prevalence that is endemic in most states. BVD is caused by the Bovine viral diarrhea virus, a Pestivirus. The major reservoir responsible for disease spread geographically is the persistent infection syndrome (BVDV-PI) seen in calves. BVDV can result in impacts to the stocker and feedlot operations by causing immunosuppression and contributing to Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex, or "Shipping Fever". This can lead to reduced feed conversion and weight gain, and increases in days on feed, morbidity, treatment cost, and mortality. In regards to cow-calf operations, all of these impacts may occur plus decreased conception rates, abortions, weak calves, and congenital defects.

The dam can be transiently infected during pregnancy and her calf become infected during development in the womb. If this infection occurs between days 40-120 of the pregnancy, the calf's immune system may not recognize the BVD Virus as foreign, and no natural immunity is produced in the calf. The calf becomes persistently infected (PI), and produces large numbers of the virus. The calf may display a normal appearance with immunosuppression or may result in acute death, poor performance, or mucosal disease.

Texas stakeholders have indicated interest in addressing the disposition of known animals positive for BVDV. The TAHC convened a group of stakeholders to discuss the negative implications of the disease on the Texas cattle industry. Stakeholder groups represented at the meeting included Texas Southwest Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), Texas Cattle Feeder Association (TCFA), Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), Independent Cattlemen's Association (ICA), Texas Farm Bureau (TFB), Texas Association of Dairymen (TAD), Texas A&M AgriLife, USDA, and Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL).

The Commission can designate that specific animal diseases must be reported in order that the Commission may act as necessary to eradicate or control significant animal diseases. BVDV adversely affects both health and productivity. The losses due to transient infection are diarrhea, decreased milk production, reproductive disorders, increased occurrence of other diseases, and death. The losses from fetal infection include abortions; congenital defects; weak and abnormally small calves; unthrifty, persistently infected (PI) animals; and death among PI animals. In order to provide Texas cattle some mitigation from the risk of exposure this disease is being added as a reportable disease in Chapter 45, entitled "Reportable Diseases".

Section 44.1 is for definitions used in this chapter and contains the following definitions: (1) Accredited Veterinarian; (2) Authorized Veterinarians; (3) Bovine Viral Diarrhea virus (BVDV); (4) BVDV Approved Feedlots and Pens; (5) Cattle; (6) Commission; (7) Initial BVDV Test; (8) Executive Director; (9) Hold Order; (10) Infected Cattle; (11) Movement Permit; (12) Movement Restrictions; (13) Negative; (14) Official Identification/Officially Identified; (15) Official BVDV Retest; (16) Positive; (17) Quarantine; (18) Texas Animal Health Commission Designated Diseases; and (19) TVMDL.

Section 44.2 contains the primary elements of a BVDV Control Program. Subsection (a) provides that any veterinarian, or a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, or a person having care, custody, or control of an animal, shall report the existence of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV).

Subsection (b) provides the additional information to be reported for a positive animal.

Subsection (c) provides that when BVDV is disclosed as positive using the BVDV antigen capture test (e.g., ELISA [enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay], SNAP test, or lateral flow device) or BVDV immunohistochemistry (IHC), the presumptive BVDV positive animal(s) are restricted from movement.

Subsection (d) provides that any cattle which test positive for BVDV may be retested with a confirmatory test.

Subsection (e) provides that only veterinarians authorized by the Commission's Authorized Personnel Program or TAHC staff may collect and submit samples for BVDV confirmatory retesting.

Subsection (f) provides that if the confirmatory test is positive as infected with BVDV the animal will be classified as having a persistent infection (PI) for BVDV (BVDV-PI).

Subsection (g) provides that if the confirmatory test is negative the cattle(s) shall be confirmed as negative for BVDV. If they are retested in accordance with the requirements and are test negative they will be released from the movement restrictions of the Hold Order by TAHC.

Subsection (h) provides that all cattle classified as being BVDV-PI-positive shall be identified by an official identification device.

Subsection (i) provides that the official laboratory for the confirmatory test for BVDV are the TVMDL laboratories or other laboratories approved by the Commission.

Subsection (j) provides that if cattle are confirmed positive for BVDV-PI they may only be moved under specific conditions.

Subsection (k) provides that an approved feedlot or pen(s) can accept cattle restricted for being exposed for BVDV within an area, isolating these cattle from non-exposed animals through fencing and geographic separation; official identification; biosecurity standards; and recordkeeping requirements, which include information for all animals entering and leaving a facility. Failure to meet and maintain those standards and procedures will cause a facility to have the approved status to accept these animals rescinded. It is recommended that all approved facilities be cleaned and disinfected between groups of cattle unless specifically directed by the Commission to clean and disinfect all or portions of the pen or other parts of the facility. An approved facility shall maintain records which indicated the movement of all animals that enter and leave a facility.

Subsection (l) provides that the Commission shall establish a BVDV Control Program Review Working Group and there will be an annual review.

FISCAL NOTE

Mrs. Larissa Schmidt, Chief of Staff, Texas Animal Health Commission, has determined for the first five-year period the rules are in effect, there will be no significant additional fiscal implications for state or local government because of enforcing or administering the rules.

REGULATORY ANALYSIS

Public Benefit: Ms. Schmidt has also determined that for each year of the first five years the rules are in effect, the public benefit anticipated because of enforcing the rules will allow the agency to more effectively address the risk from cattle that have tested positive for BVDV and reduce the risk of exposure to other cattle in the state.

Local Employment Impact Statement: In accordance with Texas Government Code §2001.022, the Commission has determined that the proposed rules will not impact local economies and, therefore, did not file a request for a local employment impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission.

Major Environmental Rule: The Commission has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules), does not apply to the proposed rule.

Takings Assessment: The Commission has determined that the proposed governmental action will not affect private real property. The proposed amendments are an activity related to the handling of animals, including requirements for testing, movement, inspection, identification, reporting of disease, and treatment, in accordance with 4 TAC, §59.7, and are, therefore, compliant with the Private Real Property Preservation Act in Government Code, Chapter 2007.

Employment Impact Statement: The Commission has determined that the animal agricultural industries meet the statutory definition of a small or microbusiness (Government Code, Chapter 2006), and that the proposed rule would affect rural communities (as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2006); however, the Commission also has determined that the rule as proposed will not result in adverse economic impacts to small and microbusinesses or rural communities because the rule applies to all cattle tested for the disease and determined to be positive and the requirements are intended to prevent exposure to other cattle in the state.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis: The proposed rule does not have an adverse impact on affected small businesses and/or rural communities located in Texas because the rule allows the Commission to identify animals that have been disclosed as being positive for a disease which negatively impacts the Texas cattle industry and to quickly and efficiently follow up on positive animals and thereby protects other similarly situated cattle from consequential disease exposure.

Government Growth Impact Statement: In compliance with the requirements of Government Code, §2001.0221, the Commission has prepared the following Government Growth Impact Statement (GGIS). The rule as proposed, if adopted, will: (1) neither create nor eliminate a government program; (2) not result in an increase or decrease in the number of full-time equivalent employee needs; (3) not result in a need for additional General Revenue funding; (4) not affect the amount of any fee; (5) it provides a disease control program which supports a reporting requirement used by the agency to notify the agency of disease and thereby reduce the risk exposure to other cattle; it does not expand an existing regulation; (7) it may increase the number of individuals subject to regulation; and (8) it will not adversely affect the state's economy.

Rule Reduction Statement: The commission has determined that the rule as proposed follows the legislative requirement that the commission shall protect all cattle within the state from diseases that pose a negative disease risk to the Texas cattle industry. It does not impose a direct cost on regulated persons within the state but rather provides disease control requirements for positive cattle in order to protect the Texas Cattle industry, and therefore it is not necessary to repeal or amend any other existing rule.

REQUEST FOR COMMENT

Comments regarding the proposed amendments may be submitted to Amanda Bernhard, Texas Animal Health Commission, 2105 Kramer Lane, Austin, Texas 78758, by fax at (512) 719-0719 or by e-mail at comments@tahc.texas.com.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendments are proposed 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", "[t]he 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", "[t]he 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", "[t]he 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", "[t]he commission may adopt rules as necessary for the administration and enforcement of this chapter."

Pursuant to §161.049, entitled "Dealer Records", "[t]he 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", "[i]f the commission determines that a disease listed in Section 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."

Pursuant to §161.081, entitled "Importation of Animals", "[t]he 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 §161.101, entitled "Duty to Report" that a veterinarian, a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, or a person having care, custody, or control of an animal shall report the existence of the specific listed diseases among livestock, exotic livestock, bison, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl to the commission within 24 hours after diagnosis of the disease.

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", "[i]f 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", "[a]n 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".

§44.1.Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the defined meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) Accredited Veterinarian--A licensed veterinarian who is approved to perform specified functions required by cooperative state-federal disease control and eradication programs pursuant to Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 160 and 161.

(2) Authorized Veterinarians--Veterinarians certified with, and approved by the commission to perform official BVDV testing and to perform any other official function under the BVDV control program.

(3) Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD)--Bovine viral diarrhea is a viral disease of cattle and other ruminants that is caused by the bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV).

(4) BVDV Approved Feedyard/Approved Pens or other authorized locations--A confined area, either the entire feedyard or designated pens within the feedyard or at a livestock market, approved by the Executive Director of the Commission for feeding of restricted cattle for BVDV. Biosecurity standards, to include requirements for geographic separation, shall be enforced to prevent potential spread of diseases to other livestock on the premises and adjacent premises. Procedures for accountability of inventory, animal identification, and movement control shall be enforced to ensure that restricted cattle remain within approved facilities until verification of slaughter.

(5) Cattle--All dairy and beef animals (genus Bos).

(6) Commission--The Texas Animal Health Commission.

(7) Executive Director--The Executive Director of the Texas Animal Health Commission or his designee.

(8) Hold Order--A document restricting movement of a herd, unit, or individual animal pending the determination of disease status.

(9) Infected Cattle--Any cattle determined by an initial BVDV test or official BVDV retest procedure to be infected with BVDV.

(10) Movement Permit--Authorization for movement of infected cattle from the farm or ranch of origin to slaughter or for movement of infected animals to a location where the animals will be held under hold order until the disease issue is resolved.

(11) Movement Restrictions--A "Hold Order," "Quarantine," or other written document issued or ordered by the commission to restrict the movement of livestock or exotic livestock.

(12) Negative--Cattle that have been tested with official test procedures and found to be free from infection with BVDV.

(13) Official Identification/Officially Identified--The identification of livestock by means of an official identification device, official eartag, registration tattoo, or registration brand, or any other method approved by the commission and/or Administrator of APHIS that provides unique identification for each animal. Official identification includes USDA alpha-numeric metal eartags (silver bangs tags), 840 RFID tags, 840 bangle tags, official breed registry tattoos, and official breed registry individual animal brands.

(14) Official BVDV Retest--A test result for BVDV using an Antigen Capture test or IHC at TVMDL or any other laboratory approved as an official laboratory by the commission. A list of official laboratories will be published by the commission.

(15) Positive--Cattle that have been tested with official test procedures and found to be infected with BVDV and is classified as being presumptive BVDV-PI on an initial test and confirmed BVDV-PI on an official retest. NOTE: Until cleared as negative on an official retest, the animal will be managed as a BVDV-PI animal.

(16) Quarantine--A written commission document or a verbal instruction from Commission personnel followed by a written document restricting movement of animals because of the existence of or exposure to BVDV. The commission may establish a quarantine on the affected animals or on the affected place. The quarantine of an affected place may extend to any affected area, including a county, district, pasture, lot, ranch, farm, field, range, thoroughfare, building, stable, or stockyard pen. The commission may establish a quarantine to prohibit or regulate the movement of any article or animal that the commission designates to be a carrier of BVDV and/or an animal into an affected area, including a county district, pasture, lot, ranch, farm, field, range, thoroughfare, building, stable, or stockyard pen.

(17) Reportable BVDV Test--A positive result for a BVDV antigen capture test (e.g., ELISA [enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay], SNAP test, or lateral flow device) or BVDV immunohistochemistry (IHC). All animals receiving an initial BVDV test, must have, a minimum, a traceable local ID (e.g., alphanumeric ear tag or back tag), or official identification

(18) Texas Animal Health Commission Designated Diseases--Animal diseases that the Commission has determined must be reported in order that the Commission may act as necessary to eradicate or control significant animal diseases.

(19) TVMDL--An official laboratory for testing is the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.

§44.2.General Requirements.

(a) Any veterinarian, or a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, or a person having care, custody, or control of an animal, shall report the existence of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) to the commission within 24 hours after detection as required by §45.2 of this title (relating to "Duty to Report").

(b) In addition to reporting the existence of a disease, the reporting person or entity shall also report to the commission information relating to:

(1) any identification associated with the cattle involved;

(2) any clinical diagnosis;

(3) location of the animal; and

(4) owner of the animal.

(c) When BVDV is disclosed in cattle using an initial test of BVDV antigen capture test (e.g., ELISA [enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay], SNAP test, or lateral flow device) or BVDV immunohistochemistry (IHC), the presumptive BVDV-positive animal(s) are restricted from movement unless subsequently confirmed as negative by official retesting in accordance with this section. Pooling of samples for antigen capture testing is strongly discouraged because of significantly reduced test sensitivity and challenges with managing animals that contributed to the pools. Any disclosure of BVDV in an antigen capture test pool must be reported to TAHC, to include local IDs of all animals that contributed to the pool. All animals in the BVDV-positive pool will be managed as presumptive BVDV-positive and can only be cleared by official retesting.

(d) Any cattle which test positive to BVDV may be retested with a confirmatory test performed by BVDV antigen capture ELISA or IHC at an official laboratory approved by the commission. If they are not retested for confirmation they will be classified as positive for BVDV and restricted in accordance with this section.

(e) Only veterinarians authorized by the Commission's Authorized Personnel Program or TAHC staff may collect and submit samples for BVDV confirmatory retesting.

(f) If the confirmatory test is positive indicating infection with BVDV the animal will be classified as having a persistent infection (PI) for BVDV (BVDV- PI).

(g) If the confirmatory test is negative the cattle(s) shall be confirmed as negative for BVDV. If they are retested in accordance with the requirements and are test negative they will be released from the movement restrictions of the Hold Order by TAHC.

(h) All cattle classified as being BVDV-PI-positive shall be identified by an official identification device, such as an 840 RFID or method approved by the Commission and have a brand applied on the left side of the animal near the head of the tail and with the marking of a lazy "P" with an "I" All cattle retested for BVDV shall be officially identified before or at the time the confirmation test sample is collected. That official identification shall be recorded on the test documents prior to submittal.

(i) The official laboratories for the confirmatory test for BVDV are the TVMDL laboratories or other laboratories approved by the Commission.

(j) Cattle confirmed positive for BVDV-PI may only be moved under the following conditions:

(1) Be sold or shipped directly to slaughter under permit, issued by commission personnel; or

(2) Be sold for movement to an approved feedyard or approved pens and later moved to slaughter, under permit, issued by commission personnel.

(k) BVDV Approved Feedyard/Approved Pens or other approved location: A confined area, either the entire feedyard or designated pens within the feedyard or at a livestock market, approved by the Executive Director of the Commission for holding and feeding of restricted cattle for BVDV.

(1) Designation Agreement: In order to be recognized as an approved feedyard or approved pen there shall be a signed designation agreement with TAHC indicating that the facility can meet the necessary standards to accept restricted cattle. The agreement will contain standards and procedures which the facility must meet in order to be approved. The Agreement will provide for isolation of animals, to separate and prevent contact between restricted animals and unrestricted animals through fencing and geographic separation; official identification; biosecurity standards; and recordkeeping requirements, which include information for all animals entering and leaving a facility. Failure to meet and maintain those standards and procedures will cause a facility to have the approved status rescinded. These animals will be placed under hold order and permitted out to slaughter.

(2) Standards and procedures.

(A) Geographic separation: Adequate isolation of animals which separate and prevent contact with tested animals and untested animals by fencing and geographic separation. Geographic separation shall be sufficient to meet the minimum standards as to prevent potential spread of diseases to other livestock on the premises and adjacent premises.

(B) Official identification: All animals entering and leaving the facility must be officially identified and that information is to be recorded and maintained as required by subparagraph (D) of this paragraph.

(C) Biosecurity standards: All approved facilities may be required to be cleaned and disinfected between groups of cattle at the direction of the Commission. Additionally, approved facilities may be required to vacate pens, that have contained BVDV infected animals, for thirty (30) days if specifically required by the Commission.

(D) Recordkeeping requirements: An approved facility shall maintain records which indicate the movement of all animals that enter and leave a facility. An approved facility must maintain the records for five (5) years.

(E) Grazing: In order for the Commission to recognize an approved facility having grazing, the facility must be able to show an ability to maintain isolation of those restricted animals from unrestricted animals. An animal leaving the confined area must be destined to either another approved feedlot or approved pen, or to an approved slaughter facility.

(F) The approved status must be renewed by the operator every two years provided that the requirements specified in these regulations and the approved agreement continue to be met by the feedyard. If the Executive Director determines the feedyard's failure to comply with the Approved Pens Agreement or these regulations are grounds to rescind the agreement.

(l) The Commission shall establish a BVDV Control Program Review Working Group consisting of members from the cattle industry, veterinary profession, veterinary diagnostic laboratory, veterinary college, extension service and agency representatives. The working group shall annually review the BVDV control program and make recommendations to the Commission on amendments to program components or operation, or whether or not the program should be continued.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 23, 2019.

TRD-201901560

Larissa Schmidt

Chief of Staff

Texas Animal Health Commission

Earliest possible date of adoption: July 7, 2019

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


CHAPTER 45. REPORTABLE DISEASES

4 TAC §45.2

EXPLANATION OF PROPOSED RULE

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) proposes amendments to Chapter 45, §45.2, concerning Reportable Diseases. The Texas Agriculture Code, Chapter 161, Section 161.101, requirements provide for the duty of a veterinarian, veterinary diagnostic laboratory or a person having care, custody, or control of an animal to report specified animal health diseases to the TAHC. The Commission has a specific list of diseases reportable in Chapter 45 of the Commission rules. This proposal is for the purpose of adding Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) as a reportable disease.

BVD is an economically impactful disease of cattle with a worldwide prevalence that is endemic in most states. The major reservoir responsible for disease spread geographically is the persistent infection syndrome (BVD-PI) seen in calves. BVD can result in impacts to the stocker and feedlot operations by causing immunosuppression and Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex, or "Shipping Fever". This can lead to reduced feed conversion and weight gain, and increases in days on feed, morbidity, treatment cost, and mortality. In regards to cow-calf operations, all of these impacts may occur plus decreased conception rates, abortions, weak calves, and congenital defects.

The dam can get transiently infected during pregnancy and her calf becomes infected during development in the womb. If this infection occurs between days 40-120 of the pregnancy, the calf's immune system does not recognize the BVD virus (BVDV) as foreign, and no natural immunity is produced in the calf. The calf becomes Persistently Infected (PI), and produces large numbers of the virus. The calf may display a normal appearance with immunosuppression or may result in acute death, poor performance, or mucosal disease.

The Texas Cattle Industry has indicated interest in addressing the disposition of known PI animals. The TAHC convened a group of stakeholders to discuss the negative implications of the disease on the Texas cattle industry. Industry groups represented at the meeting included TSCRA, TCFA, LMA, ICA, TFB, TAD, AgriLife, USDA, and TVMDL. In addition, some interested producers and TAHC commissioners attended.

The Commission can designate that specific animal diseases must be reported in order that the Commission may act as necessary to eradicate or control significant animal diseases. BVDV adversely affects both health and productivity. The losses due to transient infection are diarrhea, decreased milk production, reproductive disorders, increased occurrence of other diseases, and death. The losses from fetal infection include abortions; congenital defects; weak and abnormally small calves; unthrifty, persistently infected (PI) animals; and death among PI animals. In order to provide the cattle some mitigation from the risk of exposure this disease is being added as a reportable disease.

FISCAL NOTE

Mrs. Larissa Schmidt, Chief of Staff, Texas Animal Health Commission, has determined for the first five-year period the rules are in effect, there will be no significant additional fiscal implications for state or local government because of enforcing or administering the rules.

REGULATORY ANALYSIS

Public Benefit: Ms. Schmidt has also determined that for each year of the first five years the rules are in effect, the public benefit anticipated because of enforcing the rules will allow the agency to quickly respond to reports of animals having tested positive for BV and reduce the risk of exposure to other cattle in the state.

Local Employment Impact Statement: In accordance with Texas Government Code §2001.022, this agency has determined that the proposed rules will not impact local economies and, therefore, did not file a request for a local employment impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission.

Major Environmental Rule: The Commission has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules), does not apply to the proposed rule.

Takings Assessment: The agency has determined that the proposed governmental action will not affect private real property. The proposed amendments are an activity related to the handling of animals, including requirements for testing, movement, inspection, identification, reporting of disease, and treatment, in accordance with 4 TAC §59.7, and are, therefore, compliant with the Private Real Property Preservation Act in Government Code, Chapter 2007.

Employment Impact Statement: The Commission has determined that the animal agricultural industries meet the statutory definition of a small or microbusiness (Government Code, Chapter 2006), and that the proposed rule would affect rural communities (as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2006); however, the Commission also has determined that the rule as proposed will not result in adverse economic impacts to small and microbusinesses or rural communities because the rule is just a reporting requirement and applies to all cattle tested for the disease.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis: The proposed rule does not have an adverse impact on affected small businesses and/or rural communities located in Texas because the rule provides that the agency is notified of positive animals and thereby protects other similarly situated cattle from consequential disease exposure.

Government Growth Impact Statement: In compliance with the requirements of Government Code, §2001.0221, the Commission has prepared the following Government Growth Impact Statement. The rule as proposed, if adopted, will: (1) neither create nor eliminate a government program; (2) not result in an increase or decrease in the number of full-time equivalent employee needs; (3) not result in a need for additional General Revenue funding; (4) not affect the amount of any fee; (5) it modifies a pre-existing reporting requirement used by the agency to prevent disease exposure; (6) it does not expand an existing regulation; (7) it may increase the number of individuals subject to regulation; and (8) it will not adversely affect the state's economy.

Rule Reduction Statement: The commission has determined that the rule as proposed follows the legislative requirement that the commission shall protect all cattle within the state from regulatory diseases. It does not impose a direct cost on regulated persons within the state but rather provides a reporting requirement for positive cattle, and therefore it is not necessary to repeal or amend any other existing rule.

REQUEST FOR COMMENT

Comments regarding the proposed amendments may be submitted to Amanda Bernhard, Texas Animal Health Commission, 2105 Kramer Lane, Austin, Texas 78758, by fax at (512) 719-0719 or by e-mail at comments@tahc.texas.com.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendments are proposed 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, and entitled "Regulation of Movement of Animals", "[t]he 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, and entitled, "Inspection of Shipment of Animals or Animal Products", [t]he 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, and 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", "[t]he 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", "[t]he commission may adopt rules as necessary for the administration and enforcement of this chapter."

Pursuant to §161.049, entitled "Dealer Records", "[t]he 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", "[i]f the commission determines that a disease listed in Section 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.

Pursuant to §161.081, entitled "Importation of Animals", "[t]he 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 §161.101, entitled "Duty to Report", that a veterinarian, a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, or a person having care, custody, or control of an animal shall report the existence of the specific listed diseases among livestock, exotic livestock, bison, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl to the commission within 24 hours after diagnosis of the disease

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", [i]f 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", "[a]n 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".

§45.2.Duty to Report.

(a) A veterinarian, a veterinary diagnostic laboratory or a person having care, custody, or control of an animal, shall report the existence of the following diseases among livestock, exotic livestock, domestic fowl, or exotic fowl to the commission within 24 hours after diagnosis. The following listing includes diseases and conditions that are Office International Des Epizooties Diseases, Foreign Animal Diseases, National Program Diseases or Texas Animal Health Commission Designated Diseases.

Figure: 4 TAC §45.2(a) (.pdf)

[Figure: 4 TAC §45.2(a)]

(b) In addition to reporting the existence of a disease under subsection (a) of this section, the veterinarian shall also report to the commission information relating to:

(1) the species and number of animals involved;

(2) any clinical diagnosis or postmortem findings;

(3) any death losses;

(4) location; and

(5) owner.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 23, 2019.

TRD-201901561

Larissa Schmidt

Chief of Staff

Texas Animal Health Commission

Earliest possible date of adoption: July 7, 2019

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


CHAPTER 49. EQUINE

4 TAC §49.1

EXPLANATION OF PROPOSED RULE

The Texas Animal Health Commission (Commission) proposes amendments to Chapter 49, entitled "Equine". The amendment is for §49.1. The purpose of these amendments is to incorporate forms of electronic identification as official identification for equine.

The Commission is participating with a consortium of other state animal health regulatory agencies for fulfilling the objectives and provisions for the interstate movement of equine using an Extended Equine Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (EECVI). The consortium has established a framework in each participating state to enhance the coordination and cooperation regarding the allowance and documentation of interstate movement of equine. This amendment provides that for an official equine passport the official identification includes a microchip.

FISCAL NOTE

Mrs. Larissa Schmidt, Chief of Staff, Texas Animal Health Commission, has determined for the first five-year period the rules are in effect, there will be no significant additional fiscal implications for state or local government because of enforcing or administering the rules.

REGULATORY ANALYSIS

Public Benefit: Ms. Schmidt has also determined that for each year of the first five years the rules are in effect, the public benefit anticipated because of enforcing the rules will be removing a requirement to enter Texas.

Local Employment Impact Statement: In accordance with Texas Government Code §2001.022, the Commission has determined that the proposed rules will not impact local economies and, therefore, did not file a request for a local employment impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission.

Major Environmental Rule: The Commission has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules), does not apply to the proposed rule.

Takings Assessment: The Commission has determined that the proposed governmental action will not affect private real property. The proposed amendments are an activity related to the handling of animals, including requirements for testing, movement, inspection, identification, reporting of disease, and treatment, in accordance with Title 4 TAC, §59.7, and are, therefore, compliant with the Private Real Property Preservation Act in Government Code, Chapter 2007.

Employment Impact Statement: The Commission has determined that the animal agricultural industries meet the statutory definition of a small or microbusiness (Government Code, Chapter 2006), and that the proposed rule would affect rural communities (as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2006); however, the Commission also has determined that the rule as proposed will not result in adverse economic impacts to small and microbusinesses or rural communities because it recognizes additional acceptable forms of official identification.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis: The proposed rule does not have an adverse impact on affected small businesses and/or rural communities located in Texas because the rule recognizes pragmatic official identification options for a horse owner.

Government Growth Impact Statement: In compliance with the requirements of Government Code, §2001.0221, the Commission has prepared the following Government Growth Impact Statement (GGIS). The rule as proposed, if adopted, will: (1) neither create nor eliminate a government program; (2) not result in an increase or decrease in the number of full-time equivalent employee needs; (3) not result in a need for additional General Revenue funding; (4) not affect the amount of any fee; (5) it modifies a pre-existing regulation; (6) it does not expand an existing regulation; (7) it may increase the number of individuals subject to regulation; and (8) it will not adversely affect the state's economy.

Rule Reduction Statement: The commission has determined that the rule as proposed follows the legislative requirement that the commission shall protect all livestock, exotic livestock, domestic fowl, and exotic fowl within the state from regulatory diseases. It does not impose a direct cost on regulated persons within the state but rather provides the individuals regulatory options, and, therefore, it is not necessary to repeal or amend any other existing rule.

REQUEST FOR COMMENT

Comments regarding the proposed amendments may be submitted to Amanda Bernhard, Texas Animal Health Commission, 2105 Kramer Lane, Austin, Texas 78758, by fax at (512) 719-0719 or by e-mail at comments@tahc.texas.com.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendments are proposed 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, and entitled "Regulation of Movement of Animals", "[t]he 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, and entitled "Inspection of Shipment of Animals or Animal Products", "[t]he 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, and entitled "Commission Written Instruments", [t]he 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", "[t]he 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", "[t]he commission may adopt rules as necessary for the administration and enforcement of this chapter."

Pursuant to §161.049, entitled "Dealer Records", "[t]he 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", "[i]f the commission determines that a disease listed in Section 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."

Pursuant to §161.081, entitled "Importation of Animals", "[t]he 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", "[t]he 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", "[i]f 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", "[a]n 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 livestockmarket."

§49.1.Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA): Identification and Handling of Infected Equine.

(a) Official Test. The agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test, also known as the Coggins test, the Competitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (CELISA) test, and other USDA licensed [USDA-licensed] tests approved by the commission, are the official tests for equine infectious anemia (EIA) in horses, asses, mules, ponies, zebras and any other equine in Texas.

(b) Authorization to conduct test. Only United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved [(USDA)-approved ] laboratories, including USDA approved off-site laboratories, are allowed to run the AGID and CELISA or other USDA licensed tests and all tests will be official. Only test samples from accredited veterinarians or other TAHC authorized personnel accompanied by a completed VS Form 10-11 can be accepted for official testing.

(c) Official Identification of Equine Tested for EIA. All official blood tests must be accompanied by a completed VS Form 10-11 (Equine Infectious Anemia Laboratory Test) listing the description of the equine to include the following: age, breed, color, sex, animal's name, and all distinctive markings (i.e., color patterns, brands, tattoos, scars, or blemishes) and unique and permanent forms of identification, such as electronic identification that complies with ISO 11784/11785; or non-ISO electronic identification injected in the equine on or before March 11, 2014; or digital photographs sufficient to identify the individual equine. In the absence of any distinctive color markings or any form of visible permanent identification (brands, tattoos or scars), the animal must be identified by indicating the location of all hair whorls, vortices or cowlicks with an "X" on the illustration provided on the VS Form 10-11. It must list owner's name, address, the animal's home premise and county, the name and address of the authorized individual collecting the test sample, and laboratory and individual conducting the test. The EIA test document shall list one horse only.

(d) Reactor. A reactor is any equine which discloses a positive reaction to the official test. The individual collecting the test sample must notify the animal's owner of the quarantine within 48 hours after receiving the results.

(e) Retest of reactors. Equine which have been disclosed as reactors may be retested prior to branding provided:

(1) owners or their agents initiate a request to the TAHC Area Director of the area where the horse is located;

(2) retests are conducted within 30 days after the date of the original test;

(3) blood samples for retests are collected by the person who collected the sample for the first test or by TAHC personnel, and the blood samples are submitted to the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) for testing;

(4) the individual collecting the retest sample is provided documentation that the animal being retested is the same as the one shown positive on the initial test and can verify the retested equine as being the same as shown on the original test document; and

(5) the positive animal is held under quarantine along with all other equine on the premise.

(f) Official identification of reactors. A reactor to the official test must be permanently identified using the National Uniform Tag Code number assigned by the USDA to the state in which the reactor was tested followed by the letter "A" (the code for Texas is 74A). The reactor identification must be permanently applied by a representative of the Texas Animal Health Commission who must use for the purpose of identification, a hot-iron brand or freeze-marking brand. The brand must be not less than two inches high and shall be applied to the left shoulder or left side of the neck of the reactor. Reactors must be branded within ten days of the date the laboratory completes the test unless the equine is destroyed. Any equine destroyed prior to branding must be described in a written statement by the accredited veterinarian or other authorized personnel certifying to the destruction. This certification must be submitted to the Texas Animal Health Commission promptly.

(g) Quarantine. Any equine animal found to be a reactor to the official test will be quarantined by a representative of the Texas Animal Health Commission to the premises of its home, farm, ranch or stable until natural death, disposition by euthanasia, slaughter, or disposition to a Texas Animal Health Commission approved, diagnostic or research facility. The quarantine shall restrict the infected equine, all other equine on the premise, and all equine epidemiologically determined to have been exposed to an EIA-positive animal to isolation at least 200 yards away from equine on adjacent premises.

(h) Movement of Reactors and Exposed Equine.

(1) Reactor equine. Following official identification, a reactor must be accompanied by a VS Form 1-27 permit issued by an accredited veterinarian or other authorized state or federal personnel when moved from its home premises either:

(A) Directly to a slaughter plant, slaughter-only market, or slaughter- only buying facility; or

(B) Directly to an approved diagnostic or research facility; or

(C) Directly to a livestock market to be sold for slaughter, provided that within 24 hours prior to entry, the equine is inspected by a TAHC veterinarian or a Texas USDA-accredited veterinarian to ensure the equine displays no clinical signs of EIA and has a normal temperature. The auction market must isolate the positive equine from other equine, pen the positive equine under a roof, and hold the positive equine on the premise for no longer than 24 hours.

(2) Exposed equine. Exposed equine must be identified with an "S" brand placed on the left shoulder or left side of the neck, and be accompanied by a VS Form 1-27 permit issued by an accredited veterinarian or other authorized state or federal personnel when moved either:

(A) Directly to a livestock market for sale directly to slaughter provided the exposed equine is quarantined at the market in isolation from other horses; or

(B) Directly to a slaughter plant, slaughter-only market, or slaughter- only buying facility; or

(C) Directly to an approved diagnostic or research facility.

(i) Requirements for testing equine on quarantined premises. All equine determined to have been on the same premise with an EIA-positive horse at the time the positive horse was bled shall be tested by an accredited veterinarian at owner's expense or by Commission personnel. Nursing foals are exempt from testing.

(j) Requirements for Testing Exposed Equine and High Risk Herds.

(1) Exposed equine. All equine epidemiologically determined to have been exposed to an EIA-positive animal shall be quarantined and tested by an Accredited Veterinarian at owner's expense or by Commission personnel. Nursing foals are exempt from testing.

(2) Whole herd testing. All equine except nursing foals that are part of a herd from which a reactor has been classified shall be tested by an Accredited Veterinarian at owner's expense or by Commission personnel. A herd is:

(A) All equine under common ownership or supervision that are on one premise; or

(B) All equine under common ownership or supervision on two or more premises that are geographically separated, but on which the equine have been interchanged or where there has been contact among the equine on the different premises. Contact between equine on the different premises will be assumed unless the owner establishes otherwise and the results of the epidemiologic investigation are consistent with the lack of contact between premises; or

(C) All equine on common premises, such as community pastures or grazing association units, but owned by different persons. Other equine owned by the persons involved which are located on other premises are considered to be part of this herd unless the epidemiologic investigation establishes that equine from the affected herd have not had the opportunity for direct or indirect contact with equine from that specific premise.

(3) High Risk Testing. Herds determined to be at high risk shall be tested by an accredited veterinarian at owner's expense or by commission personnel. High risk herds are those epidemiologically judged by a State-Federal veterinarian to have a high probability of having or developing equine infectious anemia. A high risk herd need not be located on the same premise as an infected or adjacent herd.

(k) Release of EIA quarantine. The EIA quarantine may be released by the Texas Animal Health Commission after all quarantined equine test negative at least 60 days following identification and removal of the last EIA-positive equine as set out in subsections (f) and (h) of this section. Epidemiological data may be considered in the release of the quarantine.

(l) Requirements for Change of Ownership. A negative EIA test within the previous 12 months is required for all equine, except zebras, which are eight months of age or older, changing ownership in Texas, except, if the animal is:

(1) sold to slaughter, to be tested at the slaughter facility at Commission expense; or

(2) a nursing foal that is transferred with its dam and the dam has tested negative for equine infectious anemia during the 12 months preceding the date of the transfer.

(m) Any equine sold, through a market, which has not had a negative EIA test in the twelve months preceding the date of sale must be permitted for movement, by an accredited veterinarian or other authorized state or federal personnel, to slaughter. The permit shall be signed by the consignor and contain information regarding either permanent identification (i.e. branding, tagging or other means acceptable to the commission) of the equine or by the number on a red collar, issued by the commission, to be verified at the slaughter plant, slaughter-only market, or slaughter-only buying facility. These equine shall arrive at the slaughter facility no later than ten days from the date of the issuance of the permit.

(n) Equine animals stabled, boarded or pastured within 200 yards of equine belonging to another person shall be considered to be a congregation point. All equine must have a negative EIA test within the last twelve months.

(o) Equine that participate in any assembly are required to have a current proof of a negative EIA test within the last 12 months. An assembly includes, but is not limited to, parades, rodeos, roping events, and trail rides. Sponsors of an assembly of equine are required to implement a procedure for review of records on each participating equine to confirm proof of a negative EIA test status within the previous 12 months prior to allowing entry of the equine into facilities or locations where the animals will be commingled. Procedures other than confirmation of proof of EIA test negative status by the event sponsor(s) at the time of arrival at the event shall be submitted to the Executive Director for consideration at least 30 days prior to the event. A decision regarding a proposed procedure will be provided to the sponsor within 10 days of receipt by the Executive Director.

(p) Equine that are in boarding stables, boarding pastures, breeding farms, and training stables are required to have a current proof of a negative EIA test within the last 12 months.

(q) Equine that utilize or ride on publicly accessible equestrian trails, and public lands open to equestrian riding, where a congregation of equine can occur, are required to have a current proof of a negative EIA test within the last 12 months.

(r) Equine entering a pari-mutuel track must have a negative EIA test within the past 12 months and a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 23, 2019.

TRD-201901562

Larissa Schmidt

Chief of Staff

Texas Animal Health Commission

Earliest possible date of adoption: July 7, 2019

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


CHAPTER 51. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

4 TAC §51.13

EXPLANATION OF PROPOSED RULE

The Texas Animal Health Commission (Commission) proposes amendments to Chapter 51, §51.13, concerning Entry Requirements. The purpose of these amendments is to incorporate forms of electronic identification as official identification for equine moving on an equine passport.

The Commission is participating with a consortium of other state animal health regulatory agencies for fulfilling the objectives and provisions for the interstate movement of equine using an Extended Equine Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (EECVI). The consortium has established a framework in each participating state to enhance the coordination and cooperation regarding the allowance and documentation of interstate movement of equine. This amendment provides that for an official equine passport the official identification includes a microchip.

FISCAL NOTE

Mrs. Larissa Schmidt, Chief of Staff, Texas Animal Health Commission, has determined for the first five-year period the rules are in effect, there will be no significant additional fiscal implications for state or local government because of enforcing or administering the rules.

REGULATORY ANALYSIS

Public Benefit: Ms. Schmidt has also determined that for each year of the first five years the rules are in effect, the public benefit anticipated because of enforcing the rules will be removing a requirement to enter Texas.

Local Employment Impact Statement: In accordance with Texas Government Code §2001.022, this agency has determined that the proposed rules will not impact local economies and, therefore, did not file a request for a local employment impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission.

Major Environmental Rule: The Commission has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules), does not apply to the proposed rule.

Takings Assessment: The agency has determined that the proposed governmental action will not affect private real property. The proposed amendments are an activity related to the handling of animals, including requirements for testing, movement, inspection, identification, reporting of disease, and treatment, in accordance with 4 TAC §59.7 and are, therefore, compliant with the Private Real Property Preservation Act in Government Code, Chapter 2007.

Employment Impact Statement: The Commission has determined that the animal agricultural industries meet the statutory definition of a small or microbusiness (Government Code, Chapter 2006), and that the proposed rule would affect rural communities (as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2006); however, the Commission also has determined that the rule as proposed will not result in adverse economic impacts to small and microbusinesses or rural communities because it is for animals entering the state and not from Texas.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis: The proposed rule does not have an adverse impact on affected small businesses and/or rural communities located in Texas because the rule recognizes pragmatic official identification options for a horse owner.

Government Growth Impact Statement: In compliance with the requirements of Government Code, §2001.0221, the Commission has prepared the following Government Growth Impact Statement. The rule as proposed, if adopted, will: (1) neither create nor eliminate a government program; (2) not result in an increase or decrease in the number of full-time equivalent employee needs; (3) not result in a need for additional General Revenue funding; (4) not affect the amount of any fee; (5) it modifies a pre-existing regulation; (6) it does not expand an existing regulation; (7) it may increase the number of individuals subject to regulation; and (8) it will not adversely affect the state's economy.

Rule Reduction Statement: The commission has determined that the rule as proposed follows the legislative requirement that the commission shall protect all livestock, exotic livestock, domestic fowl, and exotic fowl within the state from regulatory diseases. It does not impose a direct cost on regulated persons within the state but rather provides the individuals regulatory options, and therefore it is not necessary to repeal or amend any other existing rule.

REQUEST FOR COMMENT

Comments regarding the proposed amendments may be submitted to Amanda Bernhard, Texas Animal Health Commission, 2105 Kramer Lane, Austin, Texas 78758, by fax at (512) 719-0719 or by e-mail at comments@tahc.texas.com.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendments are proposed 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", "[t]he 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", "[t]he 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, and 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", "[t]he 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" "[t]he commission may adopt rules as necessary for the administration and enforcement of this chapter."

Pursuant to §161.049, entitled "Dealer Records", "[t]he 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", "[i]f the commission determines that a disease listed in Section 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.

Pursuant to §161.081, entitled "Importation of Animals", "[t]he 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" "[i]f 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", "[a]n 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".

§51.13.Equine.

(a) Equine infectious anemia (EIA) requirements. All horses, mules, asses, ponies, zebras and all other equidae shall have a certificate of veterinary inspection and proof of a negative EIA test within the previous 12 months prior to entering Texas, along with unique and permanent forms of identification, such as electronic identification that complies with ISO 11784/11785; or non-ISO electronic identification injected in the equine on or before March 11, 2014; or digital photographs sufficient to identify the individual equine. The negative test results together with the name of the laboratory conducting the test must be shown on the certificate of veterinary inspection. Alternatively, a completed VS Form 10-11 (Equine Infectious Anemia Laboratory Test) may be attached to the certificate of veterinary inspection. Only test results from USDA-approved laboratories are acceptable. Exceptions to these test requirements are:

(1) equidae consigned directly to an approved slaughtering establishment accompanied by a prior permit issued by the Texas Animal Health Commission;

(2) equidae that have been "S" branded and consigned directly to an approved slaughter establishment accompanied by a VS 1-27 permit;

(3) equidae may enter Texas when consigned directly to a veterinary hospital or clinic for treatment or for usual veterinary procedures when accompanied by a permit number issued by the Texas Animal Health Commission. Following release by the veterinarian, equidae must be returned immediately to the state of origin by the most direct route;

(4) equidae may enter Texas for shows, fairs, exhibitions or assembly purposes when accompanied by a valid equine interstate passport or equine identification card and a completed VS form 10-11 showing negative results to an official EIA test within the previous six months.

(5) equidae entering for consignment to a livestock market, may first move directly to an EIA approved lab/vet clinic for testing. The animal must be accompanied by a prior entry permit issued by the Texas Animal Health Commission.

(6) foals, under eight months of age, accompanying and nursing a dam with a negative test within the last twelve months.

(b) Fever tick requirements: Equidae originating in a fever tick infected area must be accompanied by a certificate issued by an authorized state or federal inspector showing them free of fever tick infestation or exposure thereto and dipped in a recognized dipping solution. Dipping must be under the supervision of a state or federal inspector immediately prior to shipment, and the equidae must be transported in clean and disinfected trucks, railroad cars, or other vehicles.

(c) Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA):

(1) Owners, shippers or exporters of EVA carrier stallions, as defined in §49.4 of this title (relating to Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA): Reporting and Handling for Breeding of Infected Equine), which are to be imported into Texas, shall notify the buyer or receiver of the stallion, in writing, prior to shipment into the state, that the stallion is an EVA carrier stallion. The equine shall be accompanied by a certificate veterinary inspection, on which the carrier status of the stallion is notated.

(2)Owners of EVA carrier stallions, who intend to ship semen from the carrier stallion into Texas, shall notify, in writing, the owners, managers or caretakers of mares to be inseminated that the semen is from an EVA carrier stallion and that the mare could become EVA infected through insemination with infective semen.

(3) Any equine that originate from an area quarantined, excluding a quarantined facility, for EVA, must be accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection which states that the animal does not exhibit clinical signs of EVA, and that the equine had a rectal temperature of 101° F. or less at the time of examination for entry. EVA carrier stallions shall also comply with paragraph (1) of this subsection.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 23, 2019.

TRD-201901563

Larissa Schmidt

Chief of Staff

Texas Animal Health Commission

Earliest possible date of adoption: July 7, 2019

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