Texas Animal Health Commission Cancels March 23 Meeting

(Edited press release)

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) canceled its March 23 meeting. The commissioners were to consider proposed regulations that would require registration of sites where livestock, exotic livestock, domestic fowl, and exotic fowl are held, managed, or handled, and rules that would require a premises registration fee. More than 8,200 of the state's estimated 200,000 premises were registered as of March 8, and voluntary premises registration continues.

Premises registration is the foundation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), which is designed to enable trace back of diseased or exposed livestock or poultry within 48 hours, once the plan is fully implemented.

"We are seeking from the U.S. Department of Agriculture clear direction on National Animal Identification System timelines for implementation," said Bob Hillman, DVM, Texas' state veterinarian and TAHC executive director. He explained that after the passage of HB 1361, which authorized the TAHC to develop and implement an animal identification system consistent with the NAIS, the commissioners proposed regulations for premises registration, and in February they held a commission meeting to hear comments on the proposals. The commissioners continue to consider the comments they received.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for May 4, but Hillman says the agenda won't be developed until late April. "It is too early to know whether the proposed regulations will be considered at that meeting," he said.

Information regarding the commission meeting will be announced on the TAHC web site, in the Texas Register, and through public announcements. All TAHC commission meetings are open to the public. The TAHC Austin headquarters can be reached at 800/550-8242, and the agency's web site can be accessed at www.tahc.state.tx.us.

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