WSR 16-15-098
[Filed July 20, 2016, 10:56 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 16-86 WAC, Cattle and bison diseases in Washington state.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 16.36.040 and chapter 34.05 RCW.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The department is considering amending chapter 16-86 WAC to abolish Q-fever testing requirements for raw milk dairies and modify the language to increase clarity and conform with current industry practices.
Currently, Q-fever testing required by the animal health program detects antibodies to Coxiella Burnetii. Antibody tests only determine past exposure to the agent rather than active shedding status. The testing does not determine if the animal is actively infected, and/or if the animal is shedding the organism in the milk. The risk of transmission is much more likely through contact with placental fluids and aborted fetuses than raw milk.
Currently, there are no tests for Q-fever commercially available that give reliable definitive results. No other states require Q-fever testing.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Washington state department of agriculture's food safety and consumer services division (FSCSD) licenses raw milk dairies. Department staff has been discussing this proposal and FSCSD is in agreement to abolish Q-fever animal testing requirements. Raw milk dairies will still be required to test their animals annually for brucellosis and tuberculosis. FSCSD will still require product testing per chapter 15.36 RCW. Department of health has been part of the conversation and agrees with the proposal to abolish this requirement.
Process for Developing New Rule: Department staff will discuss any proposed amendments with affected stakeholders. Affected stakeholders will also have an opportunity to submit written comments on the proposed rules during the public comment period and will be able to present oral testimony at the public hearing.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Jodi Jones, Washington State Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 42577, Olympia, WA 98504, phone (360) 902-1889, fax (360) 902-2087, e-mail
July 20, 2016
Lynn M. Briscoe
Assistant Director