Emerging risk to US southern cattle from rabid vampire bats

There’s an emerging risk to southern U.S. cattle from rabid vampire bats.

Dr. Joanne Maki, with Boehringer Ingelheim says they’re helping get the word out about the importance of rabies vaccination.

“Ecologists and wildlife biologists reported data at a meeting last year, it was mentioned, that there have been detections of vampire bats less than 50 miles from the U.S. border in the south of Texas.”

Maki tells Brownfield Ag News they want livestock producers to know the USDA Wildlife Services has a program in Mexico and now Texas to do surveillance of cattle at sales barns and farms, “With the changing environment, with the decrease in natural bat habitat, there are a lot of interesting factors going on right now that are encouraging the northward spread of the vampire bat from Mexico towards the southern United States.”

Maki says damage estimates to cattle in that region if vampire bats take hold is $7 to 9 Million dollars a year. Rabies reduces milk production in dairy cows and stresses beef cattle, harming their ability to put on weight.

She says rabies symptoms in cows can mimic other illnesses so there is a risk to people working with the animals of being infected as well.

Interview with Dr. Joanne Maki ^^

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!

Brownfield Ag News