Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) and United States Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services (USDA-VS) officials are reminding hunters in South Texas that additional precautions are required when handling white-tailed deer, nilgai antelope, black buck, axis deer, and other exotics located on fever tick quarantined premises.
Portions of Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kinney, Kleberg, Live Oak, Maverick, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata counties have established fever tick quarantine areas and 37 additional Texas counties have individual premises quarantined.
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“Hunters play a critical roll in protecting the state from fever tick expansion,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC executive director. “We are asking for their help this hunting season to ensure this tick is not inadvertently transported to unaffected areas of the state when harvested deer or exotics are moved from quarantined premises.”
Landowners, lessees, or other individuals who plan to harvest, move or capture white-tailed deer, nilgai antelope, or other exotic animals located on an infested, exposed, adjacent, or check quarantined premises must have the animals inspected and treated by a TAHC or USDA-VS representative before moving off the premises.
“The inspection and treatment process is fairly quick and simple,” said Dr. TR Lansford, TAHC assistant executive director for animal health programs. “Hunters must notify their TAHC region office or a USDA-VS representative after harvesting an animal and before movement, so the hides can be inspected and treated.”
All inspected hides, capes, and animals will be issued a movement permit after treatment and the movement permit must accompany the animal or animal parts at all times.
To learn more about the TAHC and USDA-VS wildlife inspection requirements, visit http://www.tahc.texas.gov/animal_health/cattle/TAHCBrochure_FeverTickWildlifeInspection.pdf.
If hunting in Cameron, Hidalgo, Kinney, Maverick, Starr, Webb, Willacy or Zapata counties, and unsure of the premises quarantine status, contact the TAHC Region 8 office at 956-568-5741 or the premises USDA CFTEP county office at https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app. If hunting in Live Oak, Jim Wells or Kleberg counties, contact the TAHC Region 5 office at 361-358-3234.
To learn more about fever ticks, visit http://www.tahc.texas.gov/animal_health/cattle/#ticks/ or view the documents below:
- TAHC Cattle Fever Tick Brochure http://www.tahc.texas.gov/news/brochures/TAHCBrochure_FeverTick.pdf
- TAHC Cattle Fever Tick Frequently Asked Questions http://www.tahc.texas.gov/news/brochures/TAHCBrochure_FeverTickFAQ.pdf
- USDA Pest Alert http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_diseases/tick/downloads/pest_alert.pdf
Source: Texas Animal Health Commission