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Working Ranch April/May 2016

even further. Utah, for instance, requires that all bulls imported over 12 months of age be tested. Additionally, they require that every bull residing in the state be tested annually sometime between the months of October and April. Failure to meet the guidelines will cost the owner $1,000 per incident. Hess believes that the mandated trich tests are vital not only to herd health, but also to the local economy. “You get trich into a whole herd and you can potentially have a 30-40% calf loss. Statewide that’s millions of dollars in lost revenue,” states Hess. As for taking a regulatory approach instead of encouraging voluntary testing, Hess believes that the regulations are essential to disease containment. “Most producers are unwilling to permanently tag bulls, so it can be diffi cult to know the status of a bull at any given time,” he explains. Whether these regulations are effective or not is up for debate. During the 2011-2012 testing season Utah had a reported 10 cases of trich. Since then the number has steadily increased with 23 reported cases in the 2013- 2014 season. But what about states that don’t require any trich testing? Florida ranks 12th in the nation for beef cattle production, yet they have no requirements for trich testing bulls, either for import or on an annual basis. Florida’s Bovine Veterinarian, Dr. Diane Kitchen, says there are several key factors behind the decision. According to Kitchen the State of Florida believes that the role of regulatory veterinary medicine has three key purposes; to protect public health, prevent the introduction of new diseases to the state and comply with federal regulations and global trade demands. According to Kitchen trich fails to raise concerns in these areas. “Bovine trich is non-zoonotic and therefore is not a public health risk, and already present in our Florida cattle herd, so has already been introduced,” said Kitchen in an email. Because trich is not a reportable disease in Florida there is no available data on the prevalence of the disease within the state, however, Kitchen says that during testing season “we often have several positives in a month.” One group that is trying to bring these vast differences in required trich testing between the states into a more harmonious alignment is The United States Animal Health Association (USAHA). In 2014, the USAHA passed a resolution with the goal of uniting the states under a common trich testing policy. The concise resolution urges each state to consider adopting a policy requiring all imported bulls over 18 months in age to be tested. Six states are currently consistent with the policy and another 21 have agreed to implement the regulations within the next fi ve years. Some states, including Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona, have responded that they do not plan to align with the standards. WHAT ABOUT PAP? Another common test for bulls that experts agree can have a devastating impact for animals and producers if ignored is PAP, or pulmonary arterial pressure, testing. While the government doesn’t regulate requirements APRIL / MAY 2016 I WORKING RANCH I 41


Working Ranch April/May 2016
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