Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, visited with Chief Veterinary Officer of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dr, Kathy Simmons about an upcoming webinar to provide cattle producers, state animal health officials, veterinarians and other industry stakeholders interested in learning how to identify the Asian longhorned tick and how to better manage its associated diseases and spread.
It is not every day that a commodity group is able to partner up with USDA on a scientific webinar. Simmons says this is a great opportunity to get the government working together with the cattle industry in order to slow down this invasive pest as much as they can.
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.
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.
“We are excited about his upcoming webinar,” Simmons said. “It is taking place August 23 and 24, a half day each day in the afternoon. USDA APHIS and USDA ARS have partnered with NCBA, and we are going to talk about ticks in general including the cattle fever tick, but we are really going to focus on this new, exotic invasive tick, the Asian Longhorn Tick.”
During the webinar, Simmons said tick experts will talk about how to identify these ticks, talk about environmental control, and what producers can do to normalize a response.
“We have got the chief veterinary officer, Dr. Rosemary Sifford, talking about normalizing a response, and then we have a very interesting panel of five state animal health authorities in the states that are currently infected with this tick,” Simmons said. “We are going to talk about what they are doing to manage this tick in their state. I think it should be very informative and I encourage all producers to sign up for it, veterinarians to sign up, and anyone who is interested in these ticks- it is free.”
Simmons said increasing awareness is the only way to help stop the spread of this invasive tick species.
“We want people to be aware of this tick so they can report it and take appropriate actions,” Simmons said.
If the spread continues or worsens, Simmons said it could have implications for cattle movement domestically and possibly even overseas.
“It is one more challenge for us in pests and the diseases that they can carry, and we want to be fully armed with the knowledge to accept the challenge,” Simmons said.
Details and registration for this 2-day webinar symposium for anyone interested in learning more about ticks and the cattle industry here in the U.S. can be found by clicking here.
More information about the Asian longhorned tick can be found by clicking here.
Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Ron Hays and Dr. Kathy Simmons talk about the upcoming webinar to educate on the Asian longhorned tick.
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