Given the number of livestock deaths this summer resulting from lingering drought and extreme heat, we must think that Hoosier lawmakers and the Indiana State Board of Animal Health should take a hard look at regulations governing the reporting of livestock deaths.
According to Board of Animal Health regulations, farmers and livestock producers are not required to report heat-related deaths or other deaths unless the cause is related to any number of diseases, depending upon the type of livestock.
For instance, notifications are required under Indiana regulations for deaths caused by avian infectious bronchitis and avian influenza in birds; anthrax and brucellosis in swine; and bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis in cattle. Many others are listed in several other categories.
Lawmakers should take a look at changing those regulations to include some mandatory reporting of other livestock deaths, including those that are heat-related. It could be a matter of public health being put at risk from unknown disease.
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