TAHC modifies tick quarantine area

Nov 12, 2010
by WLJ

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) issued a Temporary Preventative Quarantine for portions of Maverick, Dimmit and Webb counties in August 2007. TAHC is now modifying that boundary as the areas currently within the zone have met the requirements for quarantine release. “The modification to the Temporary Preventative Quarantine Area (TPQA) in Maverick and Dimmit counties is good news,” TAHC State Veterinarian and Executive Director Dee Ellis said. “This just goes to show that the efforts of the cattle industry, USDA and TAHC to eradicate the cattle fever tick are effective. We must continue fighting the battle against this pest, however, so that the tick can be completely eradicated from the ‘tick free’ area of Texas as quickly as possible.”

Therefore, TAHC is modifying the boundary description of the TPQA to be the following: The areas released from the previous TPQA are all properties which lie north of FM 2644 in Maverick and Dimmit counties—an area of approximately 138,400 acres, and all properties within the previous TPQA that lie south and east of FM 186 in Dimmit county—area of approximately 200 acres.

The area which remains in the revised TPQA includes all properties in the previous sTPQA which lie east of FM 1021 (Mines Road) in Maverick county, south of FM 2644 in Maverick and Dimmit counties, and north or west of FM 186 in Dimmit county—an area of approximately 179,400 acres.

“Fever ticks are capable of carrying ‘babesia,’ a blood parasite that can cause ‘cattle tick fever,’ a deadly cattle disease that does not affect humans,” Ellis, stated. “The tick was eradicated from the U.S. in l943, but is still present in Mexico and sporadically in the permanent quarantine zone on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande.”

Three separate temporary quarantine zones continue to exist in south Texas which include parts of Maverick, Dimmitt, Zapata, Starr, Jim Hogg, and Hidalgo counties. Animals should not be intentionally or accidentally allowed to move from any TPQA until they have been inspected and treated by USDA/TAHC personnel. Movement restrictions on hides and carcasses, and parts thereof of any animal capable of serving as a host for fever ticks must be inspected and undergo any treatment deemed necessary by a USDA or TAHC representative prior to removal from the TPQA.

A written permit or certificate from an authorized USDA/TAHC representative is required for movement within or from the TPQA area until this quarantine is released.

“For more information regarding the new modification of the Temporary Preventative Quarantine Area in Maverick and Dimmit counties, individuals may contact the Carrizo Springs tick office at 830/876-9782,” Ellis said. A map of the released and currently quarantined area is available on the TAHC website at www. tahc.state.tx.us. — WLJ