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USDA Updates Regulations on Official Tuberculosis Tests for Captive Cervids

Contact:

Joelle Hayden 301-851-4040
Lyndsay Cole  970-494-4710

               
Washington, July 31, 2014 -- The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today issued an interim rule updating its regulations regarding bovine tuberculosis (TB) testing for farmed/captive cervids, including elk, red deer, white-tailed deer, fallow deer and reindeer.  The updates are necessary to provide options for farmed/captive cervid owners to meet the TB testing requirements, while ensuring the tests on the list are accurate and available.

The agency is removing the CervidTB Stat-Pak® test from the list of official tests.  This test has been discontinued and is no longer available to producers.  APHIS is also re-categorizing the DPP VetTB Assay® test as both a primary test, in place of the CervidTB Stat-Pak®, and a secondary test.  The DPP VetTB Assay® test was previously listed as only a secondary test, but the agency has determined this test provides reliable results.  Since it only requires a blood sample, it requires less handling of the cervid and lessens the risk of injury to the animal or its handlers than traditional skin testing.

USDA works cooperatively with the Nation’s livestock industry and State animal health agencies to eradicate bovine TB from domestic livestock in the United States and prevent its recurrence.  The regulations restrict the interstate movement of cattle, bison, and farmed/captive cervids to prevent the spread of bovine TB.  These restrictions require official TB testing prior to movement.

This action was published in the July 29, 2014 Federal Register at www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0027.
APHIS is seeking public input in the form of public review and comments on this proposed rule. Consideration will be given to comments received on or before September 29, 2014.

Comments may be submitted either by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0027 or by postal mail/commercial delivery to: Docket No. APHIS-2014-0027, Regulatory Analysis and Development PPD APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD, 20737-1238.

Comments are posted on the Regulations.gov website and may also be reviewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th Street and Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C., between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. To facilitate entry into the comment reading room, please call (202) 799-7039.

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