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Agriculture Today

State modifies temporary fever tick quarantine area

State modifies temporary fever tick quarantine area
COURTESY/Texas Animal Health Commission

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July 27, 2011
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AUSTIN -- The Texas Animal Health Commission released 59,100 acres in a separate temporary preventive quarantine area (TPQA) in Starr County and 180,000 acres in the remainder of the TPQA in Maverick and Dimmit counties in May, this according to a July 15 Texas Animal Health Commission press release.

“Fever ticks are capable of carrying ‘babesia,’ a blood parasite that can cause cattle tick fever, a deadly cattle disease that does not affect humans,” said Dee Ellis, Texas Animal Health Commission state veterinarian and executive director.

Following comprehensive eradication and surveillance work in the Starr-Jim Hogg-Zapata County TPQA, the animal health commission has determined that areas in Jim Hogg and Zapata counties have met the requirements for quarantine release. The release of these areas rescinds all movement restrictions placed on the livestock and wildlife within the released area. The modification does not release premises held under individual quarantine, or restricted or quarantined premises in other areas of Zapata and Starr counties.

The modified boundary description of the temporary preventive quarantined area is as follows: the area released from the this quarantine is south of S.H. 16 between U.S. 83 and F.M. 649 to San Roman Road. The line of separation for the released premises is the south fence lines on ranches along the Zapata and Starr county line and San Roman Road.

In the summer of 2007, the Texas Animal Health Commission determined that fever ticks were present in an area of Starr County. As a precautionary measure against the expansion of fever ticks to other areas of Starr County, the state placed the county under a temporary preventive quarantine on July 3, 2007.

In April 2008, fever ticks were discovered on premises in Jim Hogg and Zapata counties that were located in the free area outside the temporary quarantine. Due to the discovery of ticks outside the TPQA boundary line, the line was re-established in July 2008, to include the areas with infested and exposed premises in those counties.

For more information regarding the new temporary preventive quarantine area in Starr, Jim Hogg, and Zapata counties, call the Zapata tick office at 956-765-4911 or the Starr tick office at 956-487-5007.

A map of the released and currently quarantined area is available on the Texas Animal Health Commission website, www.tahc.state.tx.us.

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