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Agriculture Today

Cattle brucellosis testing complete in Starr County

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May 11, 2011 | 3,228 views | Post a comment

AUSTIN -- After a small beef cattle herd in Starr County was diagnosed with Bovine Brucellosis (Bangs) in early January, testing of all adjacent premises within a 1-mile radius of the index premises has been completed. There were a total of 54 adjacent premises identified. Twenty-three had no cattle on them. The remaining 31 premises all tested negative.

This was the first time in more than five years that a positive brucellosis cattle herd had been detected in Texas. Routine surveillance (blood testing) at a livestock market led to the discovery of the infected herd.

During the herd test, six animals tested positive for brucellosis. The affected herd was depopulated with indemnity.

Despite the recent brucellosis diagnosis, Texas did not lose its Class Free status as designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Brucellosis is a bacterial disease of cattle that can cause abortions, weak calves, and low milk production. Humans can also catch brucellosis (undulant fever), most commonly by consuming unpasteurized milk products or when assisting with difficult calving situations in infected cows.

Maintaining a brucellosis-free Texas requires constant awareness and vigilance. Producers/ranchers should make sure all adult cattle being purchased have a negative test and any cows that abort should be tested for brucellosis.

For more information on brucellosis, call the local Texas Animal Health Commission office at 361-358-3234 or visit www.tahc.state.tx.us .

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