After more than 18 months and more than 36 public meetings with at least 2,000 stakeholders, the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health’s final regulation regarding Trichomoniasis (Trich) in cattle will be effective October 4, 2013.

Trich is a highly contagious venereal disease in cattle that is carried by a bull and transmitted to a cow during breeding. It causes pregnancy loss or abortion in the cow, prolonged calving intervals and high open rates in infected herds, which costs livestock farmers and ranchers valuable income.

The final regulation addresses the change-of-ownership of bulls within Kansas and import requirements for both bulls and females. The department reviewed public comments and addressed stakeholder concerns in the final rule.

“The cattle industry in Kansas is the largest sector of the largest industry in the state. That is why it is imperative for us to work with Kansas farmers and ranchers, livestock markets, veterinarians and all involved in the cattle sector to eradicate infectious and contagious livestock diseases, including Trichomoniasis,” said Kansas Animal Health Commissioner Dr. Bill Brown. “This regulation was developed with input from industry. We have worked with our partners in the industry and listened to stakeholder concerns throughout this lengthy process. I am confident this final rule will help protect herd health throughout Kansas.”

Under the final rule, non-virgin bulls, bulls of unknown virginity status and bulls older than 18 months of age must test negative for Trich prior to change of ownership in Kansas. The final rule exempts from testing requirements virgin bulls 24 months of age or younger coming from a herd with an approved Trich management plan and bulls moving directly to slaughter or for feeding purposes. Virgin bulls 18 months of age or younger may be imported into Kansas with an owner’s statement that the bulls have not been sexually exposed to breeding-aged females.

The final rule also requires that cows and heifers moving into Kansas must go directly to slaughter or an approved livestock market unless accompanied by a CVI. The CVI must show imported females meet one of seven criteria set out in the revised regulation: have a calf at side, and since parturition, have only been exposed to bulls that are certified negative for Trich; are at least 120 days pregnant; are virgin heifers with no sexual exposure to bulls since weaning; have had at least 120 days of sexual isolation; are heifers or cows exposed only to bulls that are certified negative for Trich; are purchased for feeding purposes only with no exposure to bulls after entering Kansas; or are moving for the purpose of embryo transfer or other artificial reproduction procedure with no exposure to bulls after entering Kansas.

Click here for more information about the final rule and for resources to aid in implementation.

Dr. Brown encouraged farmers and ranchers who think they may have Trich in their cattle herd to contact their herd veterinarian or a Kansas state veterinarian.