Cattle & Bison Health


Anthrax is a naturally occurring disease affecting deer, cattle, exotic livestock, horses, swine, dogs and humans. It is caused by Bacillus anthracis; a spore-forming bacteria. The bacteria can remain alive, but dormant in the soil for several years.

Anthrax is found worldwide, but in Texas, cases are most often confined to a triangular area bound by the towns of Uvalde, Ozona and Eagle Pass. This area includes portions of Crockett, Val Verde, Sutton, Edwards, Kinney and Maverick Counties.

Bovine Viral Diarrhea

Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) is caused by the bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV). BVD affects cattle and other ruminants. BVD is not a human health concern.

BVD is endemic in most cattle-producing countries and in some countries is considered the single most important viral infection of cattle. While cattle of all ages are susceptible to BVD, most cases of disease are seen in cattle between six months and two years old. The major reservoir responsible for disease spread geographically is the persistent infection syndrome (BVDV-PI) seen in calves.


Brucellosis is a contagious disease of cattle, bison, swine, and other ruminant animals that can also affect humans. The disease in cattle is also known as contagious abortion or "Bang’s disease". In humans, it's known as undulant fever because of the intermittent fever it causes.

In animals, brucellosis can cause decreased milk production, weight loss, loss of young, infertility, and lameness. The disease in cattle is caused by the bacterium Brucella abortus, though other species of Brucella bacteria can cause disease in a variety of other species.

Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be spread from animals to people, but eradication efforts along with modern sanitary practices and pasteurization of milk products have greatly decreased the frequency of human infections.

Fever Ticks

All Fever tick information is now located on the TAHC Fever Ticks & Pests page - Click here.


Cattle trichomoniasis or "Trich" is a venereal disease of cattle caused by the Tritrichomonas foetus protozoa, which is about the size of a sperm. Infected bulls carry the organism on their penis and prepuce. Trichomoniasis is then transmitted to cows through breeding. Cows may abort early in the pregnancy and become temporarily infertile. Only testing will confirm the presence or absence of the disease.

Cattle producers can lose valuable income from the extended breeding seasons and diminished calf crops caused by this disease. The cattle industry and trade associations in Texas requested that the Texas Animal Health Commission develop regulations to stop the introduction and spread of this disease.

TAHC’s Trichomoniasis regulations were developed with a working group of producers, market operators, veterinarians, laboratory representatives and educators. Under the program that was phased in beginning April 2009, Trichomoniasis is a reportable disease in Texas. Trichomoniasis Review Working Group will review the program annually.

For Producers:

Develop a cow-calf Trich control strategy by visiting Trich Consult. Trich Consult was designed to aid cattle producers and veterinarians in creating Trichomoniasis control, prevention and eradication strategies that are specific to individual herds.

Cattle Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic, debilitating disease of cattle and bison caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis. Human tuberculosis is caused by a closely related type of bacteria and was historically known as "consumption".
A variety of other species may be susceptible to cattle tuberculosis, including captive elk and exotic deer, bison, goats, swine, man and cats. Sheep and horses are rarely affected.

TB has a long incubation period (months to years) and was once the most prevalent infectious disease of cattle and swine in the United States. Through a cooperative state-federal program, bovine tuberculosis has been nearly eradicated from livestock in the US. Texas has been declared free of TB, but constant vigilance is crucial to maintaining that TB-free status.

El Paso and Hudspeth county Movement Restriction Zone

As a result of persistent TB confirmations in El Paso and Hudspeth counties, TAHC established a Movement Restriction Zone (MRZ) in 2001. The MRZ effectively prohibits dairies from operating in the zone. Click here to read the Bovine Tuberculosis Risk Assessment for El Paso and Hudspeth Counties.

Vesicular Stomatitis

Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle. VSV also can affect sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, swine, deer and some other species, including bobcats, raccoons and monkeys. Humans can also become infected with the disease when handling affected animals, but this is a rare event. Vesicular Stomatitis has been confirmed only in the Western Hemisphere. It is known to be an endemic disease in the warmer regions of North, Central, and South America, but outbreaks of the disease in other temperate geographic parts of the hemisphere occur sporadically.

2020 VSV Outbreak

The United States 2020 VSV outbreak began on April 13, 2020, when NVSL confirmed the first VSV-positive premises in New Mexico. Arizona and Texas subsequently broke with VSV cases which was confirmed by NVSL on April 22, 2020 (Arizona) and April 23, 2020 (Texas). For more information about the Texas VSV situation, click on the updates listed below.

TAHC Situational Updates