Oklahoma develops new trichomoniasis regulations
By Doug Rich
To avoid becoming a dumping ground for infected cattle Oklahoma has passed new regulations for the control of trichomoniasis that will become effective Jan. 1, 2011. Bovine trichomoniasis is a venereal disease of cattle.
Dr. Rod Hall, DVM, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry outlined the new regulations and the accepted testing procedures at the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association convention. Hall estimated that trichomoniasis could cost Oklahoma cattlemen $5.4 million per year. Cattle producers lose income from extended breeding seasons and reduced calf crops. In some infected herds the calving percentages can drop as low as 50 percent.
"Larger well-managed herds will notice the problem sooner," Hall said.
Once bulls are infected with the disease, they are infected for life. Hall said no approved treatment or vaccine exists for bulls. Infected cows will clear the infection if given 120 to 150 days of sexual rest. There is a vaccine that can be given to cows that helps prevent the disease.
Most western states have developed trichomoniasis regulations to help control the disease. Many states now see how costly this disease can be and are developing their own regulations. ODAFF worked with producer groups, veterinarians and lab personnel to develop their trichomoniasis regulations.
The new regulations state that all bulls entering Oklahoma must have a negative test for trichomoniasis within 30 days prior to entering the state. Exceptions to this rule are bulls less than 24 months of age that are certified virgin; bulls that go directly to slaughter; and rodeo bulls consigned to a bucking event that leave the state after the event.
Bulls changing ownership within the state of Oklahoma must have a negative test for trichomoniasis within 30 days prior to change of ownership. The exception are bulls certified virgin; bull going directly to slaughter; cutter bulls legitimately purchased at a livestock market; and bulls presented for sale at a livestock market that are purchased to be used for breeding on the purchaser's premise. These bulls must be tested at the purchaser's expense and quarantined until the buyer receives negative test results.
Bulls that are found to be positive for trichomoniasis must be sold for slaughter only or castrated within 10 days. Herds of origin of infected bulls will not be quarantined or required to test the remainder of their bulls.
Prior to Jan. 1, 2011, Hall and other ODAFF personnel will be conducting workshops across the state to educate producers, veterinarians, and sale barn managers about this disease.
Doug Rich can be reached by phone at 785-749-5304 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.