NCBA Chief Veterinarian Kathy Simmons talks about a New Threat to Cattle Producers, the Asian Longhorned Tick

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, visits with the Chief Veterinary Officer of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dr. Kathy Simmons as she talks about a new tick invading America that is causing problems for cattle producers and other livestock owners.

“The Asian longhorned tick was first identified in the United States in 2017,” Simmons said. “It was found on a sheep in New Jersey.”

While this tick is normally present in Eastern Asia, Simmons said it has become endemic in Australia, New Zealand, and a few other countries on the Pacific Rim. The Asian longhorned tick is different from other ticks in the United States because females can reproduce without a male, she added.

“It also has a very diverse host group of species,” Simmons said. “We have identified over 25 hosts here in the United States for this tick including birds, giving it greater mobility than some of the other ticks to move around within the United States.”

This tick poses an exceptionally dangerous threat to those in the cattle industry, Simmons said, because it carries harmful diseases such as Theileria orientalis Ikeda genotype, which is a disease that is an infectious bovine anemia similar to Anaplasmosis in its clinical signs.

Animals with an anemia, Simmons said, are weak, can have reproductive issues such as abortions and can even die.

“Theilerioses with this Ikeda genotype has no approved therapy in the United States and no vaccine, so it is very important to control this tick vector,” Simmons said.

Oklahoma is on the western border to where the tick is found. It has been identified in Washington and Benton Counties in northwest Arkansas on the Oklahoma-Arkansas border.

“Currently, it is mostly in the Eastern areas and Southern areas of the United States in about 17 states,” Simmons said. “USDA APHIS has a monthly stakeholder call of all the states where they will tell us what they are doing to try to identify ticks in their state.”

With the surveillance going on, Simmons said 17 states have confirmed cases of the Asian longhorned tick.

A webinar is being put together by APHIS of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Dr. Simmons and her team at the NCBA on August 23-24 from 12 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. to provide cattle producers, state animal health officials, veterinarians and other industry stakeholders interested in learning how to identify the Asian longhorned tick information about how to better manage its associated diseases and spread.

To register for the webinar, click here.

For more information about the Asian longhorned tick, click here.

Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Ron Hays and Dr. Kathy Simmons talk about the Asian longhorned tick.

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