Nature

Fever Tick Found on Cattle in Live Oak County

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Currently in Live Oak County, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have set up a quarantined area where all livestock will be inspected for fever ticks. The scare came after a bull was found to have a suspicious tick.

The Southwest Farm Press writes that this is the forth area where an official Control Purpose Quarantine Area (CPQA) has been established outside of the Permanent Fever Tick Quarantine Zone. The fever tick zone “runs along the Texas-Mexico border beginning in Val Verde County south to the mouth of the Rio Grande River in Cameron County,” and it’s purpose is to keep ranchers constantly checking for fever ticks since many of the insects are found in Mexico.

According to the Texas Animal Health Commission, cattle fever ticks are feared by the cattle industry because they are “capable of carrying the protozoa, or microscopic parasites, Babesia bovis or B. bigemina, commonly known as cattle fever.” Ninety percent of the cows who contract the illness pass away after enduring a high fever, spleen and liver enlargement, and severe anemia.

Some cows in South Texas have developed a bit of immunity to the disease. Despite this fact, it’s not worth the devastating risk to act carefree. Now ranchers must follow rules like spraying or dipping their cattle with a treatment solution in order to get taken out of the quarantine.