Kansas is making progress on developing a system to allow the traceability of an outbreak of animal disease and on individual animal identification, state livestock commissioner Bill Brown told members of the Kansas Farm Bureau at their annual convention in Manhattan on Tuesday.
Likewise, the state is moving forward on controlling the movement of cattle in the effort to stop the spread of the sexually transmitted disease, trichomoniasis, in the state.
"In 2011, we had 16 confirmed positive cases of trich," he said. "In 2012, it was 17. So far, this year there have been 22. Obviously, we have to do more."
Efforts to prevent the spread of trichomoniasis
Among the efforts to stop the spread of the disease, he said, is a harmonization of rules on cow movement and identification between states in the western region, including Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.
Nebraska, for example, has already passed legislation to require the notification of neighbors when a bull or a cow herd is positive for trich, but Kansas has not and some states don't even have testing and quarantine rules in place,
"There has been talk about a specific tag that would have to be placed in the ear of a positive bull," he said. "But where would such a tag come from? Who would pay for it?"
Rules that Brown said he thinks can be standardized would be the acceptance of pooling of test information from state to state, an extension of test validity from 30 days to 60 days, an agreement on the PCR test, a test of DNA, as the standard for trich identification and an agreement on the maximum age of a virgin bull,.
"We have working groups in every state that are looking at these issues," he said. "The next step will be to go back to those groups and get their ideas, to continuing our surveys of cattle herds and to keep moving forward on this issue."