1004BovineTBRestrictionsLif.cfm USDA lifts bovine tuberculosis restrictions in N.M.
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USDA lifts bovine tuberculosis restrictions in N.M.

New Mexico

The U.S Department of Agriculture today officially lifted the bovine tuberculosis restrictions in Curry and Roosevelt counties in New Mexico, making the entire state bovine tuberculosis-free.

"The beef and dairy industries are important to the economic health of New Mexico. They make up our two largest agricultural sectors in the state, together generating close to $2 billion in production value. The action today (Oct. 4) relieves a serious burden on our producers and their communities," said Gov. Susana Martinez.

"It's been a difficult and costly two years for all those directly and indirectly impacted by the downgrade status," added Myles Culbertson, New Mexico Livestock Board executive director. "It's a relief to have the restrictions lifted. It's come about through the strong leadership from the Livestock Board; policy guidance from our state veterinarian; assistance from the New Mexico Department of Agriculture; the dedicated work of our inspectors and field veterinarians; and, most importantly because of the commitment from our dairy and beef producers to address this issue."

In New Mexico there are an estimated 330,000 dairy cows and approximately 1.5 million head of cattle, the majority of which are sold out-of-state. During the past few years, the state's livestock inspectors conducted more than 200,000 bovine TB tests and maintained a high-level cattle monitoring system.

"A lot of people worked hard to get us back on track because these were challenging times for our state's ranching and dairy operations. The status downgrade meant additional testing costs for our producers; and it contributed, in part, to a devalued cattle and dairy market," said Jeff Witte, NMDA director/secretary. "Now the attention can be focused on the quality products produced by these industries in New Mexico and allow the producers to run their businesses without dealing with the obstacles created by the restrictions."

In an effort to prevent bovine TB from entering the state again, Witte and the New Mexico Livestock Board are encouraging producers to remain diligent in their work to protect their herds. "That is what the New Mexico Livestock Board and our inspectors are here for. We have strong rules and laws created to protect our livestock industry, but we also need our cattle and dairy producers to take the initiative to keep their herds safe. Together we can do that," stated Culbertson.

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