Fever Ticks Confirmed on a Jim Wells County Calf

AUSTIN – Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) officials established a Control Purpose Quarantine Area (CPQA) in northern Jim Wells County after fever ticks were discovered on a calf, originating from the area, during a voluntary inspection at a program dipping vat on July 22, 2019.
In order to eliminate the pest and prevent the spread of fever ticks from the infested premises, livestock in the 13,568 acre quarantined area are subject to movement restrictions, systematic inspections and potential treatment in accordance with the regulations in Title 4, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 41 Fever Ticks.
Producers located in the CPQA are being contacted by TAHC and USDA, Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program personnel. Local producers with questions about the CPQA are encouraged to contact the Beeville Region office at 361-358-3234.
“The ticks were discovered when the cattle buyer had the animals voluntarily inspected for fever ticks before leaving a South Texas livestock market,“ said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC Executive Director. “We are thankful for the support and willingness of the buyer. Because of their actions, the fever ticks were not inadvertently moved to a free area of the state and a potential outbreak was avoided.”
Currently, there are approximately 966,784 acres under various types of fever tick quarantines outside of the Permanent Quarantine Zone. To learn more about the quarantine areas, visit https://www.tahc.texas.gov/animal_health/feverticks-pests/ or https://www.tahc.texas.gov/animal_health/feverticks-pests/FeverTickSituationReport.pdf.
Fever ticks were last eradicated from the Jim Wells County landscape in November 2017. The 51,590-acre CPQA was established by TAHC and USDA-CFTEP in July 2015 after cattle fever ticks were discovered on two calves at a South Texas livestock market. The release of the Jim Wells County CPQA came after two years of systematic treatment and inspection. For a full report of the previous Jim Wells County CPQA visithttps://www.tahc.texas.gov/news/2017/2017-11-28_JimWellsCPQARelease.pdf.
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 parasites, Babesia bovis or B. bigemina, which cause the disease 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 cattle.
For more information about cattle fever ticks, visit https://www.tahc.texas.gov/animal_health/feverticks-pests/  or http://www.tahc.texas.gov/news/brochures/TAHCBrochure_FeverTickFAQ.pdf for a list of frequently asked questions.