by David Corrigan
HONOLULU, Hawaii – State ag officials are restricting the import of cattle into Hawaii in order to combat a serious disease that could devastate the island’s livestock industry.
On Tuesday, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Animal Industry Division issued a quarantine order that requires testing of all beef and dairy bulls for a contagious reproductive disease called Bovine Trichomoniasis prior to entry into the state and before movement between herds within the state.
The Ag Department says the disease can cause significant production losses and economic harm to affected herds, causing pregnant cows to abort their fetus. But consumers should not be concerned. Officials say it is a disease of cattle only that is spread during breeding and does not affect humans or the safety of beef.
Trichomoniasis was detected in bulls in the Kau district of Hawaii Island in 2011, triggering area testing of exposed herds. Ten infected herds have been detected – nine on Hawaii Island, in the districts of Kau, North Hilo and Kohala… and one on Oahu, in Makakilo.
All of the infected herds have had some sort of contact or association with the Kau or Kohala infected herds.
The infected herds have already been issued quarantine orders, and state officials say there has been no spread since the quarantine was put in place.
One herd has been released from quarantine and remains negative for the disease, while four other herds may be released if they pass another round of tests. But the remaining four infected herds continue to test positive and are continuing control measures aimed at eliminating infection.
The new statewide quarantine order – put in place to safeguard non-infected herd – requires that all cattle owners in Hawaii have their bulls tested with a negative result for Trichomoniasis prior to being sold, acquired or moved. The order also requires that bulls 12 months of age or older must pass a test that was conducted within 30 days of arrival in Hawaii. In addition, bulls for entry shall not have contact with female cattle after testing and prior to arrival in Hawaii.
Ag officials say Trichomoniasis is found in many areas of the United States. The venereal disease can greatly reduce calf production. Thirty to 70 percent of cows or heifers bred to infected bulls can lose their pregnancy several months after conception.
It has not been determined how the disease got to Hawaii; however, the disease is found in many states on the U.S. Mainland where Hawaii cattle producers purchase cattle. The Ag Department says the nature of this disease and the cost to clean up infections in herds warrants this statewide effort to prevent the disease from spreading.
by Big Island Video News
by David Corrigan HONOLULU, Hawaii – State ag officials are restricting the import of cattle into Hawaii in order to combat a serious disease that could devastate the island’s livestock industry. On Tuesday, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Animal Industry Division issued a quarantine order that requires testing of all beef and dairy bulls for […]