Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3673
By: Swinford
Agriculture & Livestock


Foot and mouth disease is a highly infectious viral disease of
cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, swine, sheep, goats, and deer.  It is
a very serious threat to the livestock industry.  In Great Britain, the
latest outbreak of foot and mouth disease has led to over one million
animals being slaughtered.  Animal agriculture is the highest value sector
of Texas agriculture with an estimated worth between $7 and $8 million.  A
foot and mouth disease outbreak would necessitate quarantine and
depopulation of infected animals, as well as a cessation of livestock
movement in the state to prevent the spread of the disease.  A new
worldwide epidemic of foot and mouth disease has so far reached 60
countries, and with increased global trade there is a possibility of meat
contaminated with foot and mouth disease being brought into Texas.  If
garbage being fed to swine were to be infected with foot and mouth disease
the swine would very likely become infected with the disease. 

House Bill 3673 authorizes the Texas Animal Health Commission to adopt
rules to prohibit the feeding of garbage containing meat scraps if the
practice presents a danger to the livestock industry, and to revoke permits
of garbage feeding to swine for non-compliance with the law. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Animal Health Commission in
SECTION 1 (Section 165.026, Agriculture Code) of this bill. 


House Bill 3673 amends the Agriculture Code to authorize the Texas Animal
Health Commission (TAHC) to adopt rules regarding the revocation of a
permit issued by TAHC for feeding unrestricted garbage to swine, and the
appropriate handling, treatment and cooking requirements of such garbage.
The bill authorizes TAHC or the executive director of TAHC to issue an
emergency administrative order to suspend a registration or require the
immediate quarantine and closure of  a garbage feeding facility. The bill
also authorizes TAHC or the commissioner of agriculture (commissioner) to
prohibit the feeding of restricted garbage to swine in all or part of the
state if TAHC or the commissioner determines that the practice presents a
danger to public health or the livestock industry.  TAHC, in cooperation
with the Department of Agriculture and any other appropriate state agencies
and political subdivisions, is required to attempt to inform each supplier
of restricted garbage and each individual feeding garbage to swine, to
assist garbage feeding facilities and individuals feeding garbage to swine
in identifying a source for obtaining unrestricted garbage, and  to adopt
measures designed to ensure compliance.  The bill prohibits a person from
feeding swine restricted garbage or providing a person restricted garbage
for the purpose of feeding it to swine.  A facility operated by the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice is authorized to feed swine restricted
garbage if the garbage is properly treated in accordance with applicable
federal requirements.  The bill removes  the provision that a person is
authorized to feed garbage to swine if the garbage has been heated to a
temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit for a period of 30 minutes within 48
hours prior to feeding.  The bill provides that restricted garbage is
garbage containing animal refuse matter and unrestricted garbage is certain
foodstuff not containing animal matter or waste.   

The bill provides that an offense concerning feeding garbage to swine is
governed by current law until  December 1, 2001. 


September 1, 2001.