Update on Cameron County Temporary Cattle Fever Tick Preventative Quarantine Area
AUSTIN – In October 2014, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed the presence of cattle fever ticks on Cameron County premises located outside of the permanent quarantine zone. In order to protect the land, premises, and animals from exposure to cattle fever ticks, the TAHC created a temporary preventative quarantine area (TPQA) in Cameron County, which became effective October 7.
Surveillance efforts have been ongoing since the TPQA went into effect. The TPQA originally started with six new premises located outside the permanent quarantine zone. Two months later, six additional premises were identified in the TPQA, which made a total of 12 infested premises. Currently, four additional premises have been identified. To date, there are 16 infested premises that have been identified in Cameron County.
“Our primary goal is to protect the health of Texas livestock and to continue focusing our efforts on eradicating the fever tick out of South Texas,” said Dr. Max Dow, Incident Commander for the event. “We thank local producers and ranchers for their cooperation and we continue to ask for their help in complying with the TPQA requirements.”
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: What are Fever Ticks?
Answer: Fever ticks, known scientifically as Rhipicephalus (formerly Boophilus) annulatus and R. microplus, are capable of carrying the protozoa, or microscopic parasites, Babesia bovis or B. bigemina. Infected fever ticks inject the protozoan into the bloodstream of cattle as they feed. The Babesia organism attacks and destroys red blood cells, causing acute anemia, high fever, and enlargement of the spleen and liver, ultimately resulting in death for up to 90 percent of susceptible cattle.
Question: Do I have to get my cattle and /or equine sprayed/dipped before I move them within or out of the TPQA?
Answer: Yes. As part of establishing the quarantine, livestock must be inspected and treated prior to movement.
Question: What is the schedule for spraying horses or show cattle on 14 day pass permit?
Answer: The schedule for spraying equine (horses) or cattle that need a permit to move is: Monday through Saturday at the Lozano Dipping Vat during regular hours or after hours by appointment or Wednesdays by appointment at the Los Fresnos Rodeo Arena. The hours of the Lozano Vat are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, Saturdays 7 am to 5 pm. After hours spraying is available by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call 512-800-2521. The schedule may be found on the TAHC website at http://www.tahc.texas.gov/animal_health/fevertick/fevertick.html.
Question: Where is the location for spraying horses (equine animals) or dipping cattle?
Answer: The primary location for spraying horses or for dipping cattle is at the Lozano Vat, which is located on FM 1561, San Benito, TX 78586. (On FM 1561, three tenths of a mile west of FM 803.) The Los Fresnos Rodeo Arena is an alternate spraying location and is available by appointment only on Wednesdays.
Question: Where is the Cattle Dipping Vat?
Answer: A public cattle dipping vat is open for the treatment of livestock. The Lozano Vat is located at 30934 FM 1561, San Benito, TX 78586. (On FM 1561, three tenths of a mile west of FM 803.)
Question: What are the hours of the Vat?
Answer: The hours of the Lozano Vat are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, Saturdays 7 am to 5 pm and Sundays by appointment only.
Question: If I harvest a nilgai, do I need to get it inspected?
Answer: Hunters that harvest wildlife such as nilgai, white-tailed deer, and other free-ranging wildlife and exotic hoofstock in the TPQA must call 956-254-3507 to have their animal inspected and treated for cattle fever ticks. To view a short informational video regarding hunting in a cattle fever tick quarantine area visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOLzGUkYwHE.
Question: How many acres does the TPQA consist of?
Answer: The TPQA consists of approximately 223,000 acres.
Question: What is the TPQA?
Answer: The Temporary Preventative Quarantined Area is defined as that portion of the state within the boundaries of a line beginning at a point in Cameron County where Farm to Market Road (FM) 511 and Captain Donald L. Foust Road intersect (25.950997;-97.412259); thence, northwest along FM 511 for 9.43 miles to FM 803 (26.028682; -97.530968); thence, north along FM 803 for 21.3 miles to FM 2925 (26.335137; -97.491350); thence, east along FM 2925 for 7.28 miles to the east side of the Adoplh Thomae Jr. County Park eastern-most parking lot (26.349462; -97.390468) (parking lot); thence, north along the east side of the parking lot for 61.3 yards to the Arroyo Colorado (26.349960; -97.390577); thence, east along the Arroyo Colorado shoreline for 4.45 miles to Laguna Madre (26.353917; -97.325179); thence, southeast along the Laguna Madre shoreline for 55.33 miles to the Brownsville Navigation District Ship Channel (26.064276; -97.775511) (Brownsville Ship Channel); thence, southwest along the Brownsville Ship Channel for 16.4 miles to the point on Windhaus Road that is a straight line southwest of the Brownsville Ship Channel (25.952057; -97.403765); thence, north along Windhaus Road for .1 mile to Captain Donald L. Foust Road (25.952738; -97.404135); thence, west along Captain Donald L. Foust Road for .52 miles to FM 511 (25.950997; -97.412259), the beginning.
Question: How long will the TPQA be in effect?
Answer: The TPQA will remain in effect until all premises within it are released from fever tick quarantines and the area is determined to no longer be at risk of infestation. Within this area, all livestock (cattle & equine) and live or hunted wildlife (such as nilgai antelope and white-tailed deer) that are capable of hosting fever ticks, are subject to movement restrictions, inspections and treatment as prescribed by TAHC fever tick regulations.
Question: Is there additional literature that I can read about Cattle Fever Ticks?
Answer: Yes. For additional information about the Cattle Fever Tick visit:
Question: Where is the Cameron County Fever Tick Response Office located?
Answer: The TAHC/USDA Cameron County Fever Tick Response Office’s address is 105 West Ocean Boulevard, Los Fresnos, TX 78566.
Question: Where do I call if I need more information?
Answer: For more information about the temporary preventative quarantine area and movement requirements, call 512-937-8843.