Cattle & Bison Health


Anthrax

Anthrax is a naturally occurring disease affecting deer, cattle, exotic livestock, horses, swine, dogs and humans. It is caused by Bacillus anthracis; a spore-forming bacteria. The bacteria can remain alive, but dormant in the soil for several years.

Anthrax is found worldwide, but in Texas, cases are most often confined to a triangular area bound by the towns of Uvalde, Ozona and Eagle Pass. This area includes portions of Crockett, Val Verde, Sutton, Edwards, Kinney and Maverick Counties.


Brucellosis

Brucellosis is a contagious disease of cattle, bison, swine, and other ruminant animals that can also affect humans. The disease in cattle is also known as contagious abortion or "Bang’s disease". In humans, it's known as undulant fever because of the intermittent fever it causes.

In animals, brucellosis can cause decreased milk production, weight loss, loss of young, infertility, and lameness. The disease in cattle is caused by the bacterium Brucella abortus, though other species of Brucella bacteria can cause disease in a variety of other species.

Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be spread from animals to people, but eradication efforts along with modern sanitary practices and pasteurization of milk products have greatly decreased the frequency of human infections.


Fever Ticks

Cattle Fever Ticks, known scientifically as Rhipicephalus (formerly Boophilus) annulatus and R. microplus, are a significant threat to the United States cattle industry.

These ticks are capable of carrying the protozoa, or microscopic parasits, Babesia bovis or B. bigemina, commonly known as cattle fever. The Babesia organism attacks and destroys red blood cells, causing acute anemia, high fever, and enlargement of the spleen and liver, ultimately resulting in death for up to 90 percent of susceptible naive cattle.

The fever tick has been a threat to American agriculture for generations. The disease caused enormous economic losses to the U.S. cattle industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Since that time, the TAHC and the USDA - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Veterinary Services works together to protect the state and nation from the pest and its repercussions.

Today, portions of 11 South Texas counties have established fever tick quarantines. The counties include, Cameron, Live Oak, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kinney, Kleberg, Maverick, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata.

There are three types of Fever Tick Quarantine Areas; The Permanent Fever Tick Quarantine "Buffer" Zone, a Control Purpose Quarantine Area, and a Temporary Preventative Quarantine Area. To learn more about the statewide fever tick response, please visit the TAHC Monthly Fever Tick Situation Report.

Within quarantine areas, all livestock (cattle and equine) and live or hunted wildlife (such as nilgai antelope and white-tailed deer) that are capable of hosting fever ticks, are subject to movement restrictions, inspections and treatment as prescribed by TAHC fever tick regulations.For questions about dipping or spraying your livestock, please contact your local TAHC Region office or USDA County Office.

Fever Tick Quarantines

Current Fever Tick Quarantine Notices & Maps

Past Fever Tick Quarantine Notices & Maps


Trichomoniasis

Cattle trichomoniasis or "Trich" is a venereal disease of cattle caused by the Tritrichomonas foetus protozoa, which is about the size of a sperm. Infected bulls carry the organism on their penis and prepuce. Trichomoniasis is then transmitted to cows through breeding. Cows may abort early in the pregnancy and become temporarily infertile. Only testing will confirm the presence or absence of the disease.

Cattle producers can lose valuable income from the extended breeding seasons and diminished calf crops caused by this disease. The cattle industry and trade associations in Texas requested that the Texas Animal Health Commission develop regulations to stop the introduction and spread of this disease.

TAHC’s Trichomoniasis regulations were developed with a working group of producers, market operators, veterinarians, laboratory representatives and educators. Under the program that was phased in beginning April 2009, Trichomoniasis is a reportable disease in Texas. The program will be reviewed annually by the Trichomoniasis Review Working Group.

For Producers: Find a Trichomoniasis Certified Veterinarian

View a list of veterinarians that have authorized TAHC to publish their information. To determine if a veterinarian not listed is TAHC Bovine Trichomoniasis Certified, please call your TAHC Region Office.


Cattle Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic, debilitating disease of cattle and bison caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis. Human tuberculosis is caused by a closely related type of bacteria and was historically known as "consumption". A variety of other species may be susceptible to cattle tuberculosis, including captive elk and exotic deer, bison, goats, swine, man and cats. Sheep and horses are rarely affected.

TB is primarily a respiratory disease affecting lungs and chest lymph nodes. Symptoms can include progressive weight loss, chronic cough, and unexplained death losses.

TB has a long incubation period (months to years) and was once the most prevalent infectious disease of cattle and swine in the United States. Bovine TB caused more losses among U.S. farm animals in the early part of this century than all other infectious diseases combined. Through a cooperative state-federal program, bovine tuberculosis has been nearly eradicated from livestock in the US. Texas has been declared free of TB, but constant vigilance is crucial to maintaining that TB-free status.