The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has notified the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) that the state of Texas has been declared free of swine brucellosis – the last state to be officially declared free of the disease by USDA.
Brucellosis in swine is caused by the bacteria, Brucella suis. The disease usually affects the reproductive tract in swine, resulting in decreased litter size and economic loss for the pork producer. Brucellosis bacteria can also affect humans and is known as undulant fever.
Texas had detected several infected swine herds since the 1990s. Surveillance efforts were put in place to comply with the national program standards. The surveillance efforts included complete herd testing of affected herds and market swine testing to meet USDA requirements.
Close cooperation between the Texas commercial swine industry, local pork producers, Texas Pork Producers Association and the TAHC ultimately led to the successful disease eradication.
“Texas being declared swine-brucellosis-free is good news for the Texas swine industry,” states Dee Ellis, state veterinarian. “This action relieves certain restrictions on the interstate movement of breeding swine from Texas. We will continue our surveillance efforts, however, to help maintain Texas’ swine-brucellosis-free status.”