TAHC Releases Part of the Fever Tick Temporary Quarantine Area in Texas

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has announced the release of a portion of the remaining temporary preventative fever tick quarantine area (TPQA) in South Texas (Starr County), effective Feb. 15, 2013.

The TAHC established a TPQA for portions of Starr County on July 3, 2007 following findings of cattle fever tick infestations on multiple premises. Cattle fever ticks are capable of carrying and transmitting Babesia parasites, which are deadly to cattle. Horse owners are worried because this tick species can also spread the Babesia parasites that can cause equine piroplasmosis in horses. (There are Babesia parasites that affect horses, cattle, dogs, cats, mice, humans, and other mammals.) The fever ticks are common in Mexico, but are not normally found in Texas. (Editor's Note: See 'Fever Ticks' Spreading Across Texas Could Have Equine Impact on TheHorse.com for additional background information.)

The size of the area currently being released in Starr County consists of 23,478.5 acres. Previously released areas from the TPQA in this part of Starr County consisted of 42,111 acres released on Nov. 2, 2011, followed by 45,969 acres released on Dec. 21, 2011.

The release of this portion of the Starr County TPQA rescinds all movement restrictions placed on the livestock and wildlife within the 23,478.5 acres. With the release of this area the TPQA for Starr County is reduced to one remaining small area consisting of 33,024 acres. The area released is located west of FM 649 in the northwestern part of the county. A full description of the remaining Starr County TPQA  and a map which shows the area released can be found at www.tahc.texas.gov.

"Releasing another area in the TPQA continues to confirm that the cooperative efforts between the USDA-Veterinary Services Tick Force, TAHC, the Texas cattle industry and local land owners, are working successfully," said Dee Ellis, DVM, TAHC executive director and state veterinarian. "The TAHC and USDA will continue to work closely with local land owners to maintain an effective surveillance program so that fever ticks do not reoccur in the area."

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More