Bob Hillman, Texas' state veterinarian, is urging purebred beef and dairy producers across the state to step up tuberculosis-testing efforts in order to regain Class "Free" status for TB eradication.

As of early May, 349 Texas dairies and 115 purebred beef herds have been tested for the bacterial disease since November 2003. While the dairy industry is making significant progress, it still falls far short of testing necessary to assure the USDA and other states that Texas has conducted adequate disease surveillance to find any remaining infected herds.

Texas' TB plan, developed in 2002 by a joint industry and regulatory working group, calls for testing the state's 850-plus dairies and at least 2,500 of its beef seedstock herds by the end of August 2004. The plan was submitted to the USDA, along with a commitment to comply with the program. For more details on the plan, go to