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NMPF CEO Discuss Bovine TB Eradication Program Modernization with USDA Undersecretary Ibach

July 30, 2019

NMPF President & CEO Jim Mulhern met on June 27 with USDA Undersecretary Greg Ibach and other USDA staff to discuss
modernization of the National Tuberculosis Eradication Program. The TB eradication program, started in 1917, was last updated 2005, making its rules less applicable to current TB risks or the transformation of the U.S. dairy industry over the last 15 years.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Mulhern and Ibach touched upon several areas that will influence and necessitate modernization of the TB eradication program, including the white tail deer reservoir in Michigan, worker to animal TB transmission, and TB diagnostics. Traditionally, the TB eradication program has focused on whole-herd buyouts when TB has been discovered, however due to producer interest, more complex animal movements, and increasing average herd size, an effective Test and Remove Protocol which is easy to implement is needed as part of the modernization of the TB eradication.

Mulhern reiterated to USDA the dairy industry’s commitment to continue to be partner in the TB eradication program. The NMPF Animal Health and Wellbeing Committee has established a TB Task Force to identify dairy industry priorities and to work with USDA on modernizing the TB eradication program.

Contact: Jamie Jonker