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Anthrax has been confirmed in five cattle on a Crockett County premises, according to the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) this week.

Agricultural Research Service/USDA
Agricultural Research Service/USDA

The premises in Crockett County is located approximately 13 miles east of Ozona and has been quarantined. TAHC rules require proper disposal of affected carcasses and vaccination of other cattle on the premise prior to release of the quarantine.

“The TAHC will continue to closely monitor the situation,” said Dr. Susan Rollo, TAHC State Epidemiologist. “Producers are encouraged to remain vigilant and consult with their local veterinary practitioner if they suspect their animals are affected with anthrax or are interested in vaccinating their livestock.”

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Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which is a naturally occurring organism with worldwide distribution, including certain parts of Texas. Anthrax cases in Texas are historically found in the triangular area bound by the towns of Uvalde, Ozona and Eagle Pass. This area includes portions of Crockett, Val Verde, Sutton, Edwards, Kinney and Maverick counties. A vaccine is available for use in susceptible livestock in high risk areas.

Acute fever followed by rapid death with bleeding from body openings are common signs of anthrax in livestock. Carcasses may also appear bloated and appear to decompose quickly. Livestock or animals displaying symptoms consistent with anthrax should be reported to a private veterinary practitioner or a TAHC official.

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If affected livestock or carcasses must be handled, producers are encouraged to follow basic sanitation precautions such as wearing protective gloves, long sleeve shirts and washing thoroughly afterward to prevent accidental spread of the bacteria to people.