Cattle & Bison Health

Biosecurity

No matter your daily operations, a good biosecurity plan is crucial to protecting the health and marketability of your cattle. Diseases can be introduced to your cattle through infected animals or livestock, insects, and the farm environment. By adding simple practices to your herd management routine, you can mitigate the risk of diseases like trichomoniasis, vesicular stomatitis virus, bovine viral diarrhea, and other common viral or bacterial diseases that could negatively affect your herd.

To learn more about keeping your cattle healthy visit the TAHC Cattle Biosecurity Guide.


Anthrax

Anthrax is a naturally occurring, reportable disease affecting cattle, deer, livestock, exotic livestock, horses, swine, and other herbivores. Anthrax can affect humans. anthrax 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.

In order to protect Texas cattle from anthrax, the TAHC has regulations in place to prevent the spread, and encourages the use of the anthrax vaccine in areas that have anthrax. For more information on anthrax and associated requirements, visit the links provided in this section.


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.

In order to protect Texas cattle from BVD, the TAHC established a control program that requires the seller of a BVDV-PI animal to disclose the status in writing to the buyer prior to or at the time of sale. For more information on BVD and associated requirements, visit the links provided in this section.


Brucellosis

Bovine brucellosis, sometimes referred to as “Bangs”, is a reportable, contagious disease caused by the bacteria Brucella abortus (B. abortus).

B. abortus primarily affects cattle, bison, and cervids. Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease, that can affect humans, but eradication efforts along with modern sanitary practices and pasteurization of milk products have greatly decreased the frequency of human infections.

In order to protect Texas animals from bovine brucellosis, the TAHC and USDA have regulations in place to prevent the introduction and spread of brucellosis. State and federal regulations outline the requirements for movement, testing, identification, record keeping, surveillance, and Certified Brucellosis Free Herds. For more information on brucellosis and associated requirements, visit the links provided in this section.


Fever Ticks

All fever tick information is located on the TAHC Fever Ticks & Pests webpage. Please visit, www.tahc.texas.gov/animal_health/feverticks-pests.


Trichomoniasis

Cattle trichomoniasis or "trich" is a reportable, sexually transmitted disease of cattle caused by the protozoan Tritrichomonas foetus.

Trichomoniasis primarily affects beef cattle, however cases have been seen in dairy cattle. Bovine trichomoniasis is not transmittable to humans. Cattle producers can lose valuable income from the extended breeding seasons and diminished calf crops caused by this disease.

In order to protect Texas cattle from trich, the TAHC has regulations and an established control program intended to prevent the spread of disease amongst the cattle industry. For more information on trichomoniasis and associated requirements, visit the links provided in this section.

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 their herds.


Cattle Tuberculosis

Cattle tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious, chronic, respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis). This strain of TB can also affect other species of animals including elk, deer, bison, goats, swine, and cats. Sheep and horses are rarely affected. Tuberculosis can affect humans.

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.

In order to protect Texas animals from TB, the USDA and TAHC have regulations in place to prevent the introduction and spread of TB. Regulations outline the requirements for movement, testing, identification, record keeping, surveillance, and approved facilities. For more information on TB and associated regulations visit the links provided in this section.

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 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.