Nature

Hunters Reminded to Check For the Cattle Fever Tick This Season

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State officials are reminding hunters in South Texas to be mindful of the cattle fever tick quarantine in the area this hunting season. The cattle fever tick gets its name from its common host, the cow, but can also be found on deer. Additional precautions are required when handling white-tailed deer, nilgai antelope, blackbuck, axis deer, and other exotics located on fever tick quarantined premises. Portions of Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kinney, Kleberg, Live Oak, Maverick, Starr, Webb, Willacy, and Zapata counties have established fever tick quarantine areas and 37 additional Texas counties have individual premises quarantined.

Hunters Must Stay Vigilant

cattle fever tick

Photo: Flickr/Florida Fish and Wildlife

“Hunters play a critical role in protecting the state from fever tick expansion,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) Executive Director, “and we are asking for their help this hunting season to ensure this tick is not inadvertently transported to unaffected areas of the state when harvested deer or exotics are moved from quarantined premises.”

Landowners, lessees, or other individuals who plan to harvest, move or capture white-tailed deer, nilgai antelope, or other exotic animals located on an infested, exposed, adjacent, or quarantined premises must have the animals inspected and treated by a TAHC or USDA-VS representative before moving off the premises.

“The inspection and treatment process is fairly quick and simple,” said Dr. TR Lansford, TAHC Assistant Executive Director for Animal Health Programs. “Hunters must notify their TAHC region office or a USDA-VS representative after harvesting an animal and before movement, so the hides can be inspected and treated.”

Cattle Fever Tick

1024px-Cattle_inspected_for_ticks

Photo: Wikimedia

The technical name for Texas cattle fever is bovine babesiosis, a name related to the organisms that infect the red blood cells of cattle. It is their destruction of the red blood cells that results in anemia, fever, and death. To learn more about the cattle fever tick quarantine in Texas, visit the website for the Texas Wildlife Association.

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