Texas Animal Health Commission and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are seeking input on a cooperative effort to monitor for Bovine Tuberculosis in Texas, which would include sampling hunter-harvested mule deer and elk.
The tissue samples used for this effort would be the same samples currently collected as part of the ongoing Chronic Wasting Disease monitoring effort.
The expanded TB surveillance is in response to a bill passed during the 83rd Legislative Session charging the TAHC with conducting a study regarding the current risk level for TB in parts of El Paso and Hudspeth counties. As part of the study, susceptible animals in these counties will be tested for TB. Testing will include cattle, goats, sheep, swine, exotic hoof-stock, captive deer and free-ranging deer.
Bovine TB is a bacterial disease found in cattle, but can also be found in deer. CWD is a progressive, fatal disease that attacks the brain of affected animals. Both diseases have the potential to affect the health of the state’s deer population.
A public meeting will be held at Thursday, December 19 at 7 p.m. Mountain Time at the courthouse in Sierra Blanca to discuss this expanded surveillance effort with landowners and other interested parties.
Information on Bovine TB can be found on TAHC’ website, http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/animal_health/cattle_tb/cattle_tb.html