Trichomoniasis is an economic threat to the beef industry – and it’s spreading across the country. The disease – which leads to early embryonic losses and infertility – is tricky. Herds can be infected without their owners knowing because there are no outward signs of the infection. Twenty-three states require mandatory testing for bulls to prevent the spread of trichomoniasis – and more states have regulations in the making – but there is inconsistency in individual state requirements. There are also inconsistencies among states when it comes to the collection of samples, shipping and handling of samples and laboratory procedures.
Dr. Carl Heckendorf with the Colorado Department of Agriculture says it’s time to standardize – or at least harmonize – state regulations and testing procedures. He says the variances and ever-changing rules between states make compliance difficult and confusing. That’s why the National Institute for Animal Agriculture and the U.S. Animal Health Association are partnering on a Joint Forum on Trichomoniasis Standards in April. The Forum will give state veterinarians, animal health officials, laboratory personnel, beef industry leaders and other interested individuals the opportunity to discuss challenges and identify solutions regarding more standardization of rules and testing procedures intended to prevent the introduction of trichomoniasis into beef herds.
The one-day Forum is scheduled for Thursday, April 3rd in Omaha, Nebraska. Visit animalagriculture dot org (www.animalagriculture.org) for more information.