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United States Achieves Cattle Brucellosis Class Free Status

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that for the first time in the 74-year history of the brucellosis program, all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have simultaneously achieved Class Free status. Texas is the last and final state to be declared brucellosis free.

The classifications for brucellosis are as follows: Class Free, Class A, Class B and Class C. Restrictions on the interstate movement of cattle become less stringent as a state approaches or achieves Class Free status. The Class C designation is for states or areas with the highest rate of brucellosis. States or areas that do not meet the minimum standards for Class C are required to be placed under federal quarantine.

In 1934, the eradication of brucellosis was elevated to a national scale with the formation of a cooperative state–federal brucellosis eradication program to eliminate brucellosis from the country. Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that causes decreased milk production, weight loss, infertility, loss of young and lameness in cattle, elk and bison. The disease is contagious and can, though rarely, affect humans. There is no known treatment for brucellosis, and depopulation of infected and exposed animals is the only effective means of disease containment and eradication.

The interim rule declaring Texas as brucellosis free was published in the Feb. 1 Federal Register and is effective upon publication.

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