Texas lands $4.9M to fight ticks

January 12, 2009 2:33:15 PM PST
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced Monday that his agency will give Texas officials $4.9 million to help fight fever ticks, a pest that can transmit a deadly parasite to cattle. The state had sought funding to help fight the pest that can cause cattle tick fever, a disease that can kill up to 90 percent of infected animals. Schafer, at meeting in Laredo, announced Monday that the federal government would provide some emergency funding.

Texas officials will use the money to get additional personnel, equipment and supplies to treat cows affected by the ticks, said Bob Hillman, executive director of the Texas Animal Health Commission.

During the past two years, 128 new cattle fever tick infestations have been detected, even though the pest was eradicated in most of the United States. Much of South Texas is in a USDA-monitored quarantine zone because fever ticks have not been eradicated in Mexico and sometimes cross the border on the backs of wildlife.

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