STATEHOUSE (March 22, 2017) – A bill authored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) to change who pays for bovine tuberculosis testing passed the House of Representatives recently by a vote of 96-0.
Senate Enrolled Act 294 would require county councils and the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) to each pay 50 percent of expenses related to bovine tuberculosis testing when required by BOAH.
Indiana is considered a tuberculosis-free state under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules. As a result of an occurrence of elk strain bovine tuberculosis in Franklin County, the USDA required BOAH to conduct blood testing of all cattle in a 10-mile radius of the infected animal.
Under current Indiana law, the county is required to pay for 100 percent of the costs of testing. There are five counties that were involved in recent testing - Franklin, Fayette, Rush, Dearborn and Decatur. The original projected cost for Franklin County was $91,000, although the final cost is anticipated to be less. All tests completed have been negative.
“Counties should not be expected to pay for these tests on their own,” Leising said. “It’s expensive, and the burden needs to be shared, especially because all counties benefit from Indiana retaining our tuberculosis-free status with the USDA.”
SEA 294 will now be considered by Gov. Eric Holcomb.
Click here for a high-resolution photo of Leising.
Contact: Molly Swigart, Press Secretary
Lindsey Ross, Press Secretary Intern