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Utah bulls test positive for Trich

12 April 2022

Ten herds have are potentially impacted by the disease

The Utah State Veterinarian’s office has identified several cases of trichomoniasis (Trich) positive bulls from a beef cattle herd in Box Elder County.

The herd in question 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 neighbour the affected properties. It is also suspected that bulls from this herd were leased to other ranches for breeding purposes.

“It is concerning to have this large of an outbreak of Trich in Utah cattle herds,” said 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.

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.


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