STATEHOUSE (Feb. 24, 2017) – A bill authored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) to change who pays for bovine tuberculosis testing passed the full Senate Tuesday, Feb. 21, by a vote of 44-4.
Senate Bill 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 is $91,000. 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.”
SB 294 will now be considered by the House of Representatives.
Click here for a high-resolution photo of Leising.
Contact: Molly Swigart, Press Secretary