Ranchers Say Loosened Regulations Will Help Them Fight Fever Ticks

Opponents of existing regulations say they are costly and labor-intensive.

By Michael MarksMay 12, 2017 7:37 am

‘Fever tick’ is a phrase that sends shudders down the spines of Texas ranchers. The parasites kill about 90 percent of the cattle they afflict and a fever tick outbreak could wreck havoc on the state’s $10.5 billion cattle industry.

This week the Texas Animal Health Commission changed one of its rules so that ranchers could apply for looser fever tick regulations. The new rule eliminates costly and labor-intensive fever tick inspection and treatment for ranchers ruled exempt by the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) and an independent epidemiologist.

“The amendment itself doesn’t really change the rule and doesn’t really lessen the requirements of the rule,” says TR Lansford, the commission’s assistant director of Animal Health Programs. “If there are circumstances that can’t lend themselves to meeting the prescribed methodologies in the rule, that there’s an allowance to come up with an alternative treatment plan.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What issues the amendment is intended to address

– Under what circumstance the rules would be loosened

– What impact this will have on public health and the economy

Written by Molly Smith.