Almost $5 Million Will Help Texas Fight Fever Tick

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will give Texas officials $4.9 million to help fight fever ticks.

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer made the announcement today in Laredo of the effort against a pest that can transmit a deadly parasite to cattle.

The state had sought funding to help fight the pest that can cause cattle tick fever. That disease can kill up to 90 percent of infected animals.

Bob Hillman's executive director of the Texas Animal Health Commission. He says state officials will use the money to get additional personnel, equipment and supplies to treat cows affected by the ticks.

In the past two years, 128 new cattle fever tick infestations have been detected in Texas. That's despite the eradication of the pest in most of the United States.

Much of South Texas is in a USDA-monitored quarantine zone because fever ticks have not been eradicated in Mexico and sometimes cross the border on the backs of wildlife.