Two bulls in beef cattle herds in Summit County have tested positive for a parasitic disease that can cause problems for cattle, the Utah state veterinarian’s office reported.
The bulls tested positive for trichomoniasis, or Trich, a venereal disease caused by a protozoa and spread between cattle during breeding, the veterinarian’s office reported Thursday. The bulls were part of a grazing association in Weber Canyon last summer.
“To have multiple cases of Trick in our state in one year is very concerning,” Dr. Dean Taylor, the state’s veterinarian, said in a statement. Taylor reminded cattle owners that it’s “vitally important” to follow testing rules and guidelines, to prevent the disease’s spread.
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is taking steps to quarantine affected animals, a spokesperson for the department said, and will place the herds where positive tests are found on a plan to stop the spread of the disease.
There is no treatment for Trich, the veterinarian’s office said. Cows who contract Trich generally abort the fetus after breeding, and then clear the infection. Bulls, however, remain infected for life.
The disease can have a devastating economic effect on cattle herds. Owners must cull positive bulls and buy replacements, suffer a reduced calf crop because of increased abortion rates, go through a prolonged calving season with lower calf weights at sale, cull cows that didn’t get pregnant, and deal with a loss of genetics.
Utah requires cattle owners to test all bulls for Trich every year — except for dairy cattle, which are kept in confinement, and bison bulls. Any owners who have had cattle in the area and are concerned the disease could affect their herds should contact the state veterinarian’s office by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.