USDA lifts bovine TB restrictions

Freedom New Mexico

The U.S. Department of Argriculture has determined the threat of bovine tuberculosis has been eradicated from the state of New Mexico, according to a press release issued Friday by U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall.

In September 2008, USDA placed ranches and dairies across the state of New Mexico under mandatory movement restrictions and testing requirements after a positive bovine TB case was identified in the state earlier that year.

Two years ago, those restrictions were lifted for all counties except Curry and Roosevelt.

On Tuesday, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will lift the restrictions on those two counties.

“The drought is having a devastating impact on ranchers throughout New Mexico, with many having to sell of their herds,” Bingaman said. “This is a bit of good news for ranchers at what is otherwise a very difficult time.”

“Dairy and beef production are central to New Mexico’s agricultural sector,” Udall said. “This restored accredited-free status is testimony to the quality products distributed by New Mexico’s producers.”

There are more than 1.5 million cattle and calves in New Mexico, including 330,000 dairy cows.

Total annual sales of milk and beef cattle in 2010 were more than $2.4 billion.