Governor Bill Richardson announced that the state is taking aggressive action to minimize the impact of a dairy cattle herd in Curry County that has been diagnosed as having bovine Tuberculosis. Bovine TB is a bacterial disease that affects primarily the upper respiratory tract of cattle.
In addition to the infected cattle herd in Curry County, two other dairies in Curry County are also being inspected by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, the New Mexico Livestock Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In response to the news of the bovine TB diagnosis, Governor Richardson has formed a Bovine TB Intervention Group, led by State Department of Agriculture Secretary Miley Gonzalez. Other members of the Intervention Group include:
· State Veterinarian Dave Fly
· Bill King, Chairman of the New Mexico Livestock Board
· Caren Cowen, Executive Director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association
· Sharon Lombardi, Executive Director of the Dairy Producers of New Mexico
"All appropriate steps are being been taken to track down the infected cattle," Governor Bill Richardson said. "This is a serious issue that could have negative implications for our livestock and dairy industries. I want this Intervention Group to take aggressive steps to, not only identify the potential sources of the infection, but also to make sure that eliminate the risks to other cattle herds."
"I've contacted Sec. Johanns regarding the ongoing testing in New Mexico and am pleased that USDA responded with federal funding to help complete the required monitoring. I am prepared to press the department for whatever additional funding may be required, including purchasing the affected herds or any other required response," U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman said.
"The Governor has assembled an intervention team of experts to identify infected livestock and limit the potential spread of Bovine TB," said U.S. Representative Tom Udall. "I will be working with him, his team and the U.S.D.A. to take all necessary steps to reduce exposure to the disease and minimize the economic impacts of this situation in the region."
The Intervention Group will work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is scheduled to release a notice on Friday, June 15, confirming the bovine TB diagnosis in Curry County.
"We have taken all necessary action to limit human exposure," said Miley Gonzalez, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. "Our focus now is on limiting the future impact on the livestock industry in New Mexico."