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John G. Johnson

TEXAS ANIMAL HEALTH COMMISSION. The Texas Animal Health Commission was established in 1893 as the Livestock Sanitary Commission. In 1892 the United States Secretary of Agriculture placed a quarantine on parts of Texas because of tick fever (see TEXAS FEVER). The commission was to determine quarantine lines and make regulations to prevent the spread of any malignant, contagious disease. The Livestock Sanitary Commission had three paid commissioners and a two-year budget of $20,000. Although initial work was on cattle, the commission was soon given authority to control and eradicate other livestock and poultry diseases. By the 1940s the tick eradication program had been so successful that only 1,200 square miles in eight counties along the Mexican border were quarantined. This area was still under quarantine in 1993. In 1955 the commission was increased to six members, none of whom were employees and who were paid only a per diem and expenses. One member was required to be a veterinarian and the others representatives of specific livestock or poultry industries. The name of the commission was changed in 1959 to the Texas Animal Health Commission. In 1973 the number of commissioners was increased to nine and in 1983 to twelve. The twelve members included nine each from specific livestock industries and three from the general public, but one member had to be a veterinarian. The commission has the responsibility of inspection of livestock, their premises, and livestock products and market and regulation of exhibitions and livestock movement. In 1992 the commission had a staff of 270 veterinarians, animal health inspectors, laboratory specialists, and office staff, assisted by 2,000 private veterinarians who are accredited by the commission to do regulatory work. The agency has developed programs against infectious diseases such as foot and mouth disease and the screwworm. In 1993 a major program was in progress to eradicate brucellosis in cattle. The 1992 and 1993 appropriations for the Texas Animal Health Commission were for $11,508,435 each year. The United States Department of Agriculture cooperates with local work and employs additional veterinarians and inspectors in the twelve regional areas of the commission.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, John G. Johnson, "TEXAS ANIMAL HEALTH COMMISSION," accessed July 08, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/mdtnw.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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