Anthrax has been confirmed in a cow approximately 10 miles north of Premont, TX in Jim Wells County. This is the first documented case in the county since the late 1950’s. This is also the first case of Anthrax confirmed in cattle this year in the State of Texas.

Cow and calf Image/Agricultural Research Services
Cow and calf
Image/Agricultural Research Services

Anthrax cases in Texas are often confined to a triangular area bounded by the towns of Uvalde, Ozona and Eagle Pass. This area includes portions of Crockett, Val Verde, Sutton, Edwards, Kinney and Maverick counties.

Earlier this year, Texas officials reported anthrax cases in a whitetail deer and a goat.

Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which is a naturally occurring organism. A vaccine is available for use in susceptible livestock.

Acute fevers followed by rapid death with bleeding from body openings are common signs of anthrax in livestock. Carcasses may also appear bloated and decompose quickly. Livestock displaying symptoms consistent with Anthrax should be reported to a private veterinary practitioner or a TAHC official. If affected livestock or carcasses must be handled, producers are encouraged to follow basic sanitation precautions such as wearing protective gloves, long sleeved shirts and washing thoroughly afterward to prevent accidental spread of the bacteria to people.

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) rules require proper disposal of affected carcasses and vaccination of livestock on the premises prior to release of the quarantine.

“The TAHC will continue to work cooperatively with local veterinary practitioners and livestock producers to monitor the situation for possible new cases across the state. Producers are encouraged to consult their veterinary practitioner or local TAHC office if they have questions about the disease,” said Dr. T.R. Lansford, TAHC Assistant Executive Director for Animal Health Programs.