PIERRE, SD – Bovine trichomoniasis (trich) has been detected in a South Dakota cattle herd. Two bulls from a beef cattle herd in Oglala Lakota County have tested positive for this economically devastating disease. The Animal Industry Board (AIB) is working with the herd owner and their veterinarians to develop a management plan to contain the disease. Neighboring herd owners with potential contact animals will be informed of the risk to their animals as the investigation continues.
Trichomonas foetus is a protozoal parasite that is transmitted between cows and bulls during breeding and can cause early term abortions. Producers are often unaware of the problem until the disease is well established in the herd. Signs that the disease may be present in a herd include a high number of open (nonpregnant) and late-calving cows than expected.
Producers can take precautions to help prevent their herd from becoming infected. First, only purchase and use virgin bulls for breeding. If non-virgin bulls are used, they should be tested for trich prior to breeding. Bulls may also be tested two weeks after breeding for early detection of potential problems. Timely pregnancy testing of females following the breeding season and prompt removal of open cows to be sold for feeding and slaughter will also decrease the risk of disease spread. Finally, maintain good border fencing to keep livestock in their respective pastures and avoiding unintentional commingling of herds.
In cooperation with the cattle industry the AIB has implemented rules in an effort to help prevent trich in cattle:
- Non-virgin bulls must be tested negative for trich prior to being sold, loaned or leased in South Dakota for breeding purposes;
- Any non-virgin bull entering South Dakota must be tested negative for trich;
- Non-virgin, non-pregnant female cattle (open cows) may not be imported, loaned, leased nor acquired for breeding purposes in South Dakota.
Cattle producers with concerns about trichomoniasis should contact their herd veterinarian or the AIB at 605-773-3321.
South Dakota Animal Industry Board