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More VS Cases Confirmed in Texas Horses/Cows

Updated: Wednesday, August 6 2014, 06:51 PM CDT

First horses, now cows in Texas are testing positive for the virus, Vesicular Stomatitis (VS). The Texas Animal Health Commission reports several new cases of VS in Central Texas.

A bull rushes into the sale ring as the auctioneer negotiates a price with the crowd. Bidding starts with every door slam at the Hills Prairie Livestock Auction in Bastrop.

"We're actually here to purchase some breeder cows and some heffers," said Delphin Janecka, a cattle rancher from Cistern, TX.

This week, though, there's an added health concern for the cattle. "We've been having a lot of cases of VS or Vesicular Stomatitis here in the Bastrop County area, so we're definitely looking at the cattle making sure they don't have anything coming to the sale barn that has VS," said Dusty Boullion, an Animal Health Inspector for the TAHC.
"You know you don't want to buy anything that's got something wrong with it," said Janecka.

The first VS case in cattle in Texas was announced July 8th in South Texas. Since then, the TAHC has been taking extra precautions to make sure it doesn't spread at cattle auctions in Central Texas.

"Basically I'm looking for violations in disease laws that we have in the state of Texas," said Boullion.

Since May, the TAHC has quarantined at least 35 locations in nine counties after confirming the virus in horses and cows. It's Boullion's job to make sure riders and ranchers obey the no-move orders.

Tommy Barton, who oversees both Travis and Bastrop County for the TAHC, describes the symptoms. "It creates oral lesions of the mouth, the nostrils, that's the primary location."

Since the health commission believes VS is spread through sand flies, they're asking ranchers to use fly spray and biosecurity. "Don't use equipment, halters, utensils, feed buckets from animals you suspect might have this type of infection," said Barton.

It's a small price to pay to keep livestock and the cattle business healthy. "We need all the help with the health issues that we can get," said Janecka.

Barton believes the spread of the virus is starting to slow down, "We are still having positive cases, but not perhaps to the extreme we were having a week or two ago."

For more information on cases of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in Central Texas, click here.

By Deeda Payton

More VS Cases Confirmed in Texas Horses/Cows

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