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More cases of trichomoniasis in Utah cattle herds

Dhurv Mehra
/
Unsplash

Trich is caused by a microscopic parasite called protozoa and is spread between cattle during breeding. State veterinarian Dr. Dean Taylor says it is vitally important that cattle owners follow the rules and guidelines set up for testing these animals in order to prevent the spread of this disease.

Two bulls from two beef cattle herds in Summit County have tested positive for trichomoniasis, commonly referred to as trich, a venereal disease in cattle that usually causes cows to abort their fetuses. The cases, identified by the state Veterinarians office, are from herds that were part of a grazing association in Weber Canyon during the summer of 2021.

Bulls do not show any clinical signs of the disease and according to Bailee Woolstenhulme, public information officer for the Utah Department of Agriculture, the bulls were only tested for it as part of the requirement for moving them across state lines. The bulls have been quarantined and will be culled. Woolstenhulme says the cows, instead, will be monitored.

"Within 120 days, they'll typically abort the fetus, which is the number one symptom of this disease when it's transferred to a cow. Usually, when the cows abort those fetuses, they also slough off the disease with that. So the cows typically are fine," says Woolstenhulme.

About six herds in Box Elder County were effect by trich last month and several bulls were culled as a result. The cases in each of the two counties are isolated. These multiple cases over the past two months won’t impact the beef market according to Woolstenhulm, but it’s a different scenario for local ranchers.

"It is a huge impact to these ranchers that were affected and whose cows were infected because they obviously lose those bulls. A good bull could range anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000 per bull, so that's the monetary impact. And then they've lost a calf crop, which would be these calves that were supposed to be born. So, there's multiple losses for those particular ranchers," says Woolstenhulme.

Trich is caused by a microscopic parasite called protozoa and is spread between cattle during breeding. State veterinarian Dr. Dean Taylor says it is vitally important that cattle owners follow the rules and guidelines set up for testing these animals in order to prevent the spread of this disease.

Sheri's career in radio began at 7 years old in Los Angeles, California with a secret little radio tucked under her bed that she'd fall asleep with, while listening to The Dr. Demento Radio Show. She went on to produce the first science radio show in Utah in 1999 and has been reporting local, national and international stories ever since. After a stint as news director at KZYX on northern California's Lost Coast, she landed back at UPR in 2021.