Ag Department preparing to lift cattle restrictions

CNJ staff

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is preparing to lift restrictions on interstate movement of cattle for most of New Mexico, according to a press release from Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.

“This move is very good news for the livestock industry in New Mexico. The control of diseases that could devastate herds is very important, but the testing has been another burden on our farming and ranching community,” Domenici said.

However, Curry and Roosevelt counties would remain under the current restrictions that require continued testing of cattle, bison, dairy goats, and captive deer for tuberculosis before they are moved interstate, unless the animals are from an accredited-free herd, the release said.

Tuberculosis was detected in two Roosevelt county herds in 2003, which caused the federal government to increase scrutiny of all New Mexico’s herds.

“It is my hope that this rule is made final, and that the continued progress in controlling this disease is made so that restrictions can be lifted from Curry and Roosevelt counties,” Domenici said.

Bovine tuberculosis is a contagious and infectious disease that affects cattle, bison, deer, elk, goats and other warm-blooded species, including humans. Tuberculosis in infected animals and humans manifests itself in lesions of the lung, lymph nodes and bone. It causes weight loss, general debilitation and can be fatal.