September 27, 2018 500 AM
AUSTIN – Returning from a recent meeting in Washington, D.C. with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and Under Secretary Greg Ibach, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller today announced that progress is being made on his efforts to protect Texas cattle from any adverse effects from pesticide spray boxes used to combat the deadly Cattle Fever Tick. Miller announced, as a result of his meetings in Washington, he has secured the option for cattle producers to hand-spray their livestock in lieu of using the spray boxes. Also, the Texas Department of Agriculture has published a new rule related to the spray boxes and is actively seeking input from ranchers and industry representatives.
“I want to thank Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Under Secretary Ibach for our discussions in D.C.,” said Miller, “and I look forward to working with them to find a more permanent solution to this issue. Their agreement to allow Texas producers the option to hand-spray gives them the ability to manage their livestock as they see fit while still ensuring we maintain the fight against any tick outbreaks.”
“I also appreciate our friends in the Texas cattle industry and what they do to help feed the world,” said Miller. “I sincerely hope that together we can find a solution that will protect Texas cattle, serve the public interest and strengthen the position of the Texas beef industry as a world leader.”
In an additional effort to receive input from all stakeholders on the use of the cattle spray boxes, Miller directed the agency to propose a new ventilation rule on Sept. 21, 2018.
With the comment period open until Nov. 30, 2018, cattle operations can continue to operate under previously agreed upon conditions. Commissioner Miller anticipates that it will likely be sometime in December of this year before all of the proposed rule comments are reviewed, and does not expect any potential changes in the use of Co-Ral or spray boxes until sometime early next year.
“I am allowing the Cattle Fever Tick spray boxes to continue operations while we continue to work on a long term solution,” Miller said.