The Idaho State Department of Agriculture has proposed rule changes to the state’s governing of brucellosis, following the 2018 USDA audit of the state’s brucellosis program.

A public meeting was held June 27 in Boise, ID, and a commenting period was open until June 30.

Dr. Scott Leibsle, the meeting facilitator, outlined the necessity to minimize restrictions on interstate market access for cattle producers in Idaho and maintain federal funding eligibility to operate the program.

The proposed rule changes will reduce the brucellosis test eligibility age of cattle or bison from 18 months to 12 months and remove “Idaho origin” as a prerequisite for vaccination, allowing animals to be vaccinated on arrival to the state.

Montana and Wyoming, two other states in the Greater Yellowstone Area, have already implemented the reduced age eligibility.

This rule change is intended to discover latent heifer syndrome before the breeding season.

The Idaho origin rule was added in 2006 in an attempt to prevent Idaho from becoming a “dumping ground” for non-vaccinated cattle from other states that may have multiple brucellosis-positive cattle herds.

This rule change is suggested because the original is “an unnecessary regulation that no longer poses a risk to the cattle industry.”

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