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Executive Director’s Report

published: August 10th 2018
by: Bill Hyman
source: ICA of Texas
In recent telephone conversations with Texas Animal Health Executive Director Andy Schwartz and Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, the ICA asked that the two agencies along with USDA work rapidly to regain the use of the fever tick program spray boxes. The spray boxes are used in the fever prevention program in South Texas when dipping vats are not available. The spray boxes have been used for many years in the eradication of fever ticks and are a very effective tool (in lieu of hauling cattle to a dipping vat miles away from their home pasture).  Both state agency heads agreed that the potential spread of the fever tick was of the upmost importance to both agencies and to Texas ranchers. Hopefully the licensing and the spray box ventilation problems can be resolved and the use of the boxes can be resumed. 
Lost in this dispute is the hard work of the fever tick spray crews, cowboys and ranchers who work daily gathering cattle, spraying, dipping and inspecting the cattle in the fever tick areas. These folks are the backbone of our fight to prevent the ticks from spreading northward. As long as Mexico does nothing to eradicate the tick on their nearby border lands, the battle will continue. 
In the U.S., we utilize many types of methods to prevent or destroy the pesky tick, but not one method has been totally effective. Adding to the problem is the fact that white tail deer and Nilgai are hosts for the tick and must also be treated. Hopefully, research in the future will provide a more permanent solution but for now, we must use every means available to control the spread of the fever tick. ICA will continue to monitor this unfortunate situation and push for a quick solution for the use of the spray boxes and more effective and efficient methods to eradicate Mexican fever ticks in Texas.

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