State Quarantine Issued on Movement of Bulls

Posted on May 21, 2013 in 2013 News Releases, News Releases

May 21, 2013 – NR13-07

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Animal Industry Division today issued a quarantine order that requires testing of all beef and dairy bulls for Bovine Trichomoniasis prior to entry into the state and before movement between herds within the state. Bovine Trichomoniasis (Trichomoniasis) is a serious contagious reproductive disease of cattle that can cause significant production losses and economic harm to affected herds. It is a disease of cattle only that is spread during breeding and does not affect humans or the safety of beef.

The quarantine order requires that all herd 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 shall enter Hawaii with a negative test result for Trichomoniasis 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.

Trichomoniasis was detected in bulls in the Kau district of Hawaii Island in 2011, triggering area testing of exposed herds, slaughter surveillance testing and testing by private veterinarians in 2011 and 2012. Ten infected herds have been detected – nine on the Hawaii Island (Kau, North Hilo and Kohala districts) and one on Oahu (Makakilo). All of the infected herds have association or had contact with the Kau or Kohala
infected herds.

Infected herds were issued individual quarantine orders by the State Veterinarian, and herd clean-up plans were instituted. There has been no spread from infected herds since the individual quarantine orders were placed. One herd has been released from quarantine and remains negative for the disease. Four herds achieved one negative test round on all bulls, have been retested and are being evaluated for quarantine release. The four remaining herds continue to test positive and are continuing testing programs, with removal of positive bulls along with other control measures aimed at eliminating infection.

This statewide quarantine order is being put in place to safeguard non-infected herds and areas of the state while administrative rules are being amended to have more long-term measures put in place to prevent, control and eradicate Trichomoniasis in cattle. The department’s and cattle producers’ experiences with the protracted nature of this disease and the cost to clean up infections in herds warrants this statewide effort by all cattle owners to prevent Trichomoniasis from spreading.

Trichomoniasis is found in many areas of the United States and is an economically important venereal disease of cattle because it can reduce a calf production due to a large number of cows that can abort or reabsorb their pregnancy when they get infected.  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. 

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To view Quarantine Order. click here.