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Monday, January 3, 2011

Cattle Health: New Importation Regulations For Trichomoniasis In Kansas

01/03/2011 09:43AM

Trichomoniasis (infection caused by Tritrichomonas foetus), commonly known as Trich, has been added to the list of officially reportable diseases in Kansas. This means ranchers, managers or veterinarians who discover the existence of Trich, must report it immediately. Bulls coming into Kansas are required to be tested for Trich prior to importation.

Historically, Trich has been a major problem primarily in western states with Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) communal grazing lands. However, this disease has been diagnosed with increasing frequency in many private beef cattle operations in Kansas during recent times. Both increased testing and improved diagnostic methods have suggested that this disease has a significant presence in Kansas.

Trich infection routinely causes female reproductive/infertility problems which clinically appear as repeat breeding and poor pregnancy results. Pregnancy rates may be decreased as much as 50 percent or more when Trich enters the herd. Many older cows will clear the infection within 3 months and then go on to conceive if the breeding season is long enough. However, calving may be spread out over a longer period of time resulting in wider than expected range in calf sizes. Heifers will rarely rebreed if a short breeding season is used. Herd owners may notice that cows previously observed being bred may be seen taking the bull again later, and that bulls are still working hard late in the breeding season. Open cows or cases of pyometra (pus-filled uterus) detected at preg check time may be a result of Trich infection.

Trich is sexually-transmitted, with bulls being persistent carriers. Infected bulls show no signs of disease. They remain infected for life. Mature bulls are typically more of a problem than younger bulls due to increased preputial wrinkling which provides a better environment for growth of the organism. There is no treatment that will clear up infected bulls. Because bulls are the primary carrier of the disease, the focus of all testing programs is to detect and remove infected bulls.

Infected bulls and open cows should be sold only for slaughter. Open heifers should be sold only as feeders. Management practices that will help ensure that you do not bring this disease into your herd include buying young virgin bulls, virgin replacement heifers, “experienced” bulls that test negative, cows with calf at side that have not been re-exposed to a bull, or cows that are known to be at least 120 days pregnant.

All western states and states neighboring Kansas have in place or are in the process of developing regulations to (1) stop the importation of bulls that might be infected with this disease into the state, and (2) stop the movement of bulls carrying this disease between herds within the respective states. Their laws require all non-virgin bulls be tested and certified negative for Trich before being imported into or sold within the state.

Testing for the presence of the trich organism involves sampling non-virgin bulls or bulls of unknown sexual activity status. Preputial scrapings inoculated into special transport/growth media pouches are required. Your veterinarian should be able to obtain these pouches and do the proper sample collection and submission for you.

Trichomoniasis test results from Kansas cattle must be reported to the Kansas Animal Health Department within 48 hours of obtaining results. This applies to tests conducted by an accredited lab in Kansas or reported to an accredited Kansas veterinarian.

To be certified as negative, samples from a test-eligible animal must have been:
1) Collected into and transported to the lab using the In PouchTM TF test kit system;
2) Submitted to an AAVLD-accredited laboratory for testing;
3a) Found negative on 3 successive InPouchTM microscopic examination tests on test samples collected at least 1 week apart.


3b) Found negative on 1 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on samples collected only after the bull has been sexually rested for a minimum of 2 weeks before sample collection.

Kansas Importation Regulations
Bulls entering Kansas from another state must be:
1) Shipped or sold directly to a Kansas licensed slaughter facility.


2a) Individually identified with an officiallyrecognized device or method.


2b) Accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection completed within 30 days prior to entering the state. The certifying veterinarian must attest to any knowledge of the existence of Trichomoniasis in the herd of origin within the previous 2 years.


2c) Accompanied by either:
• For virgin bulls eighteen (18) months of age or younger:
i) a breeder’s certificate (statement that bulls have not been exposed to breeding aged females),
ii) breeder’s signature
iii) animal’s age in months
iv) individual identification


• For non-virgin bulls, bulls nineteen (19) months of age or older, and those of unknown status:
A copy of the animal’s certified negative test results from an AAVLD-accredited laboratory, to include:
i) animal’s officially-recognized individual identification
ii) owner’s name and address
iii) name and address of veterinarian who collected and submitted the test samples
iv) number and type of test conducted (3 InPouchTM microscopic exams or 1 PCR test)

Note: The owner shall ensure that no female contact occurs following the first qualifying test.

Exceptions to these requirements will be granted only to bulls being shipped directly to slaughter, a sanctioned rodeo event, or a livestock show where they will be shown and then returned to the state of origin without being sexually exposed to breedingaged females.

Following input from and discussion by stakeholders of the Kansas beef industry, it is anticipated that regulations to control the spread of Trich within the borders of Kansas will be developed. Watch for details in a future issue of Beef Tips.

Source: Larry C. Hollis, D.V.M, M.Ag, extension beef veterinarian

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