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RULE §49.6Piroplasmosis: Area or County Test

(a) Definitions:

  (1) High risk area or county--An area or county that is epidemiologically judged to have a high probability for equine having or developing Equine Piroplasmosis.

  (2) Hold Order--A document restricting movement of a herd, unit, or individual animal pending the determination of its Piroplasmosis disease status.

  (3) Individual herd test plan--A written plan developed between the Commission and the owner for testing one or more equine for Piroplasmosis, and the management of any positive or exposed equine.

(b) Order to Test Equine in a High Risk County or Area for Piroplasmosis. The Executive Director of the Commission may issue an order for equine to be tested in a high risk area or county based on sound epidemiological principles for disease detection, control, and eradication. The epidemiological criteria used for designating an area or county as high risk may include the presence of disease vectors (ticks), multiple positive animals in the area, and common husbandry and animal use practices that could lead to disease exposure.

(c) The order shall contain the following elements:

  (1) The epidemiological criteria for which the order is being issued.

  (2) A description of the area or county determined to be high risk that enables a person to identify the area and determine if a premise(s) is included in the area.

  (3) A statement that movement of equine is prohibited, if the Executive Director determines the threat of disease spread warrants such action.

  (4) Any exceptions, terms, conditions, or provisions prescribed under this chapter must be stated in the order.

  (5) State the class of persons authorized by the Commission or the Executive Director to issue certificates or permits permitting movement.

  (6) Any authorized movement certificate or permit must be issued in conformity with the requirements stated in the quarantine notice:

    (A) The Executive Director may provide for a written certificate or written permit authorizing the movement of equine from locations where the equine have been restricted.

    (B) The certificate or permit must be issued by a veterinarian or other person authorized by the Commission to issue a certificate or permit.

(d) If the order prohibits the movement of any equine until tested negative for the disease, the Executive Director may prescribe:

  (1) any exceptions;

  (2) terms;

  (3) conditions; or

  (4) provisions that the Executive Director considers necessary or desirable to promote the objectives of this chapter or to minimize the economic impact of the equine without endangering those objectives or the health and safety of other equine.

(e) Testing Procedures:

  (1) All equine located or maintained in an area shall be presented for testing. An individual herd test plan will be developed if a test date is not established within a reasonable time as determined by the Executive Director.

  (2) All equine to be added to the herd shall be tested prior to commingling with the herd.

  (3) All stray equine found in the area shall be presented for testing by the caretaker of the property where located.

  (4) Equine identified as positive shall be removed in accordance with §49.5 of this chapter (relating to Piroplasmosis: Testing, Identification of Infected Equine).

(f) Publication of Notice. The Executive Director shall give notice of the order:

  (1) by publishing notice in a newspaper published in the county in which the quarantine is established; or

  (2) by delivering a written notice to the owner or caretaker of the animals or places to be quarantined.

(g) Procedure to Protest the Individual Herd Test Plan. A person may protest an initial test or a herd plan for testing their equine for Piroplasmosis after consultation with the state or federal veterinarian assigned to the testing:

  (1) To protest, the herd owner must request a meeting, in writing, with the Executive Director of the Commission within 15 days of receipt of the herd plan or notice of an initial test and set forth a short, plain statement of the issues that shall be the subject of the protest, after which:

    (A) the meeting will be set by the Executive Director no later than 21 days from receipt of the request for a meeting;

    (B) the meeting or meetings shall be held in Austin; and

    (C) the Executive Director shall render his decision in writing within 14 days from date of the meeting.

  (2) Upon receipt of a decision or order by the Executive Director which the herd owner wishes to appeal, the herd owner may file an appeal within 15 days in writing with the chairman of the commission and set forth a short, plain statement of the issues that shall be the subject of the appeal.

  (3) The subsequent hearing will be conducted pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure and Texas Register Act, and Chapter 32 of this title (relating to Hearing and Appeal Procedures).

  (4) If the Executive Director determines, based on epidemiological principles, that immediate action is necessary, the Executive Director may shorten the time limits, as set out in paragraph (1)(A) and (B) of this subsection, to not less than five days. The herd owner must be provided with written notice of any time limits so shortened.

Source Note: The provisions of this §49.6 adopted to be effective October 10, 2012, 37 TexReg 8015

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