Texas Anthrax Situational Update
Austin, TX – Since the August 6, 2019 update, anthrax has been detected on one new premises in south central Crockett County and one new premises in northwest Sutton County. Anthrax has been previously confirmed in both counties this year. TAHC will discontinue weekly anthrax updates unless anthrax is confirmed in a new county or the agency sees a sizable increase in cases.
The Texas Animal Health Commission quarantined the premises after animals tested positive for the reportable disease. Anthrax quarantines are typically lifted 10 days from vaccination or the last death loss. To date, 20 premises in 5 Texas counties have had animals confirmed with anthrax. Animals include the following species: antelope, goat, horses, deer and cattle. Producers have been advised on vaccinating exposed animals and have been instructed on the proper disposal of affected carcasses, as outlined by TAHC’s rules.
It is common to see an increase in anthrax cases after periods of wet, cool weather, followed by hot, dry conditions. During these conditions, animals ingest the anthrax bacteria when they consume contaminated grass and hay, or inhale the spores. Outbreaks usually end when cooler weather arrives. There is an effective anthrax vaccine available for use in susceptible livestock (includes but is not limited to, swine, equine, sheep, goats, cattle, etc.). TAHC encourages livestock owners to consult with a local veterinary practitioner and consider vaccinating livestock in areas where anthrax is historically found in Crockett, Uvalde, Val Verde, Sutton, Edwards, Kinney and Maverick counties. Producers may order anthrax vaccines directly from the manufacturer.After exposure to anthrax, it usually takes three to seven days for animals to show symptoms of anthrax. Once symptoms begin, death will usually occur within 48 hours. Acute fever followed by rapid death with bleeding from body openings are all common signs of anthrax in livestock. Owners of livestock and animals displaying symptoms consistent with anthrax or experiencing death of animals should contact a private veterinary practitioner or a TAHC official.
Producers are encouraged to follow basic sanitation precautions when handling affected livestock or carcasses. It is recommended to wear protective gloves, long sleeve shirts and to wash thoroughly afterward to prevent accidental spread of the bacteria to people. For more information on how anthrax affects humans please visit https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/
The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides benefits to eligible livestock owners for livestock deaths caused by eligible loss conditions. Anthrax is identified as an eligible disease. For more information about the LIP program visit https://www.fsa.usda.gov/
Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/ usdafiles/FactSheets/2019/ livestock_indemnity_program- fact_sheet-july_2019.pdf