For Immediate Release: March 21, 2011
Contact: Carmen Fenton, 512-469-0171
Fort Worth, Texas – As drug cartel violence continues to plague the U.S.-Mexico border, Texas cattle raisers are concerned about how this issue will impact the Texas cattle herd, specifically the spread of cattle fever ticks along the border. Cattlemen and women will have the opportunity to discuss these concerns with Under Secretary Avalos from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the Fever Tick breakout session during the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Convention Weekend, April 1-3 in San Antonio.
Due to personnel safety concerns, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) modified the cattle inspection protocol for Mexican cattle being imported into Texas. This inspection now occurs on Texas soil rather than in Mexico. The activities of livestock border guards, also known as “tick riders” have also been adjusted to enhance safety.
“The tick riders have patrolled the U.S./ Mexico border since 1906, and played an integral role in the eradication of the cattle fever tick from the U.S. in 1943,” said Avalos. “Today, their role remains as important as ever, as they are our Nation’s first line of defense against an outbreak of cattle fever.”
Additionally, Texas Animal Health Inspection Commission (TAHC) officials no longer make inspections in Mexican states along the border. Ranchers were seeing outbreaks beyond the quarantine zone prior to the state budget cuts. Now, with budget cuts inevitable at both the state and federal levels, the risk of widespread re-introduction of the tick in the Southwest is increasing.
The Fever Tick breakout session is just one of 9 breakout sessions scheduled to take place during the convention.
As the largest cattle industry event in Texas, the TSCRA Convention is a must-attend for anyone involved in livestock production. More than 2,000 ranchers, landowners and members will gather for a weekend of outstanding programs, educational sessions, a trade show with more than 200 exhibits, plus networking and fellowship with fellow cattle raisers.
A complete schedule of events, information on accommodations, and registration information can be found at www.tscra.org/convention.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is a 134-year-old trade organization. As the largest and oldest livestock association in Texas, TSCRA represents more than 15,000 beef cattle producers, ranching families and businesses who manage approximately 4 million head of cattle on 51.5 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. TSCRA provides law enforcement and livestock inspection services, legislative and regulatory advocacy, industry news and information, insurance services and educational opportunities for its members and the industry.