The Utah State Veterinarian’s office has identified several cases of trichomoniasis (Trich) positive bulls from a beef cattle herd in Box Elder County. This herd had grazed the summer of 2021 at a grazing association in southern Idaho with several other herds, including at least six herds from Utah.
There are ten potentially exposed cattle herds that are awaiting test results; five herds belonging to the aforementioned grazing association and five herds that neighbor the affected properties.
“It is concerning to have this large of an outbreak of Trich in Utah cattle herds,” said Dr. Dean Taylor, Utah State Veterinarian. “Our office is working closely with local veterinarians to conduct testing and are taking measures to stop the spread of this disease.”
Trich is a venereal disease of cattle caused by a protozoa (microscopic parasite). It is spread between cattle during breeding. Cows generally abort the fetus from this breeding and then clear the infection, but bulls remain infected for life. There is no treatment for Trich and this disease can be economically devastating to cattle herds because of:
- Culling of positive bulls and purchase of replacement bulls
- Increased abortion rate leading to a reduced calf crop
- Prolonged calving season and lower calf weights at sale
- Culling of open cows
- Loss of genetics
Utah requires yearly testing of all bulls for Trich, with the exception of dairy cattle who are kept in confinement and bison bulls. Animals from one positive herd moved into the grazing association in 2021 without proper paperwork. It is also suspected that bulls from this herd were leased to other ranches for breeding purposes. If you leased a bull from the Box Elder County area and are concerned this could affect your cattle herd, please contact the Utah State Veterinarian’s office by emailing email@example.com.
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is taking steps to quarantine affected animals and will place the herds with positive tests on a plan to stop the spread of the disease.