Cattle fever ticks in south Texas

The Texas Animal Health Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program have seen an increase of fever tick confirmations outside of established quarantined areas in south Texas.

"Fever ticks have been found on cattle outside of the established quarantine areas in Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Jim Hogg, and Willacy counties," said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC executive director. "Many of these counties had preexisting fever tick quarantine areas, but these newly identified premises are outside of those."

All of the infested premises have been quarantined, and TAHC staff is working alongside USDA-CFTEP to systematically inspect the premises and the surrounding areas to identify the potential span of the infestation.

When fever ticks are discovered on a premise, the location is quarantined. Once quarantined, the cattle and other susceptible livestock are prescribed a treatment program until fever ticks are eradicated from the land. Livestock on the infested premises can still be sold and moved off the premises as long as they are inspected and treated before movement.

Voluntary treatment and inspection of cattle purchased in South Texas will both increase surveillance for cattle fever ticks and eliminate the need for tracing exposed animals.

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