Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) Executive Director Andy Schwartz has confirmed the presence of cattle fever ticks on a Live Oak County ranch after a bull on the property was evaluated by a local veterinarian and a suspect tick was found on the animal.
The incident prompted TAHC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish a Control Purpose Quarantine Area (CPQA) for the systematic inspection of all livestock and wildlife hosts in the portion of Live Oak County surrounding the infested premises. Schwartz says property owners within the new CPQA are currently being contacted by TAHC and USDA inspectors in a comprehensive effort to contain movement of ticks outside the area.
Live Oak County now becomes the fourth area where a CPQA has been established outside of the Permanent Fever Tick Quarantine Zone, an area that runs along the Texas-Mexico border beginning in Val Verde County south to the mouth of the Rio Grande River in Cameron County. Other CPQAs have been established in Jim Wells, Kleberg and Willacy counties.
The Permanent Quarantine Zone was created as a buffer zone to Mexico, where fever ticks are common. This zone allows tick incursions from Mexico to be detected and eliminated quickly to limit the spread of fever ticks into the free area of the state.