A meeting notice sent out by the California Department of Food and Agriculture states that Tulare County has two herds that test positive for bovine tuberculosis. At the meeting late this afternoon, officials are expected to announce that California’s TB-free status has been revoked.
Last May the first case of bovine TB was found in a Tulare County dairy. When an animal from a second herd was found to have the disease a few months later, the first dairy sent its herd to slaughter. That move protected the state’s status as TB-free for the time being. However, in October, preliminary test results for an animal in yet another herd indicated TB. State officials had been waiting for test results from a second test that could positively confirm the presence of disease. Apparently those results came back positive, which would give the state two herds with confirmed cases of TB. A situation that results in the USDA automatically revoking a state’s TB-free status.
The loss of TB-free status will change how freely animals can move. All breeding age cattle — heifers, cows and bulls — would have to be tested before leaving the state. In addition, all feeder cattle will have to be identified by their location of origin.