Will USDA grant New Mexico split bovine tuberculosis status? New Mexico delegates are requesting just that—despite the fact that two infected herds have been found in New Mexico’s accredited free-zone.

The delegation said that the USDA removal of TB-free status in the state is both excessive and irrational. They claimed this action would cause beef and dairy operations to take unnecessary and expensive tests. They argued that split-state status would cover the small areas where the infected herds were identified while the rest of the state could remain TB-free.

In their letter to US Secretary Ed Schafer, the New Mexican delegates stated that this downgrade in status would cost the state more than $4 million per year.