Colorado Department of Agriculture issues livestock disease update |

Colorado Department of Agriculture issues livestock disease update

Staff report

The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Industry is responsible for animal health and livestock disease control activities in Colorado. The total value of the state’s cattle, sheep, hogs and chickens is $2.97 billion; cattle accounts for 95 percent of this amount with 2.75 million head of cattle and calves.

CDA’s Division of Animal Industry is on hand to help during natural disasters, participates in the National Animal Identification System and works with the Agricultural Commission to pass rules and regulations to benefit Colorado’s livestock while keeping constant vigil over animal diseases across the globe.


In recent months, Montana’s brucellosis status has been changed from “Class Free” to “Class A” because of a brucellosis affected herd in June. CDA has been working with Colorado’s livestock producers, livestock feeding industries, livestock industry groups and private practicing veterinarians to evaluate the livestock imports from Montana based on the science of disease, considering risks and the economic impacts of the import regulations we administer.

Bovine tuberculosis

In 2007, bovine tuberculosis was discovered in a Douglas County rodeo livestock herd; Colorado did not lose its “Free Status.” Recently, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service downgraded the state of New Mexico to a state of Modified Accredited Advanced TB status classification.

CDA has updated TB import requirements to provide the Colorado breeding herd protection from disease entry while allowing reasonable movement of feeder cattle to ensure the economic viability of Colorado’s livestock feeding industry.

Scrapie Through a USDA grant, CDA helps sheep producers with the cost of testing their herds for scrapie susceptibility. Scrapie is an infectious, and fatal, disease of sheep and goats that costs the sheep industry between $20 and 25 million per year, but resistance to the disease in sheep can be determined by a genetic test.

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