Miller shuts down spray box operations

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller made a surprise visit to the Rio Grande Valley Monday morning following complaints about cattle dying from a method to apply an insecticide used in the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program.

After a personal inspection, Miller ordered a stoppage to the use of spray boxes to apply Co-Ral to cattle in the eight-county quarantine zone along the border with Mexico, according to a press release.

“Ranchers had complained to me about their cattle dying from these spray boxes, so I went to South Texas to check it out,” Miller said in a press release. “From my personal observation, the insecticide was being used in violation of the label so I shut them down.”

The United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or USDA-APHIS, in conjunction with the Texas Animal Health Commission, operate the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program to eliminate and stop cattle fever ticks, which may carry a disease called bovine babesiosis, from crossing into the United States from Mexico. The disease results in the destruction of red blood cells in cattle, resulting in anemia, fever and death and could be devastating to Texas’ cattle industry if an infected cattle fever tick made it out of the quarantine zone, according to the Texas Agriculture Department.

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

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