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Suzan Holl (301) 734-6464
Jerry Redding (202) 720-4623

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2006-The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is finalizing, without change, an interim rule amending its brucellosis regulations concerning interstate movement of cattle by changing Idaho's classification status from Class Free to Class A. This is a necessary action in order to prevent the spread of brucellosis.

Brucellosis Class-Free status is based on a state carrying out all requirements of the brucellosis program and finding no cases of brucellosis in cattle and bison for 12 months. APHIS has determined that Idaho no longer meets the standards for Class-Free status.

Idaho was classified as Class Free until a brucellosis infected herd was discovered on Nov. 14, 2005. At that time, the state took immediate measures to maintain its Class-Free status according to federal regulations. However, on Nov. 29, 2005, another brucellosis infected herd was confirmed. With the discovery of the second infected herd, Idaho no longer meets the standards for Class-Free Status.

Brucellosis classifications are as follows: Class Free, Class A, Class B, and Class C. When brucellosis is found in more than one herd of cattle in a brucellosis-free state within a two-year period, the state is downgraded to Class A status. Restrictions on moving cattle interstate 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 a federal quarantine.

Brucellosis is a contagious disease caused by the Brucella bacteria, and affects animals and, rarely, humans. The United States is almost entirely free of brucellosis in cattle. Aside from Idaho, only two other states are affected with cattle brucellosis, Wyoming and Texas. All three states are designated as Class A.

This final rule became effective Jan. 12 and is published in the June 29 Federal Register.


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