Utah animal health officials have found two bulls in Summit County that tested positive for trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease that can sneak into a cow herd without any signs.
The herds were part of a grazing association in Weber Canyon during the summer of 2021, according to the state Department of Agriculture and Food.
"To have multiple cases of trich in our state in one year is very concerning,” said Dr. Dean Taylor, Utah's state veterinarian. “It is vitally important that cattle owners follow the rules and guidelines set up for testing of these animals so we can prevent the spread of this disease.”
The agency 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, officials said.
Trichomoniais is caused by protozoa living in the reproductive tract of cows and the sheath of bulls. It occurs most often when ranchers use untested bulls, purchase open cows with unknown background, or when cattle herds commingle.
The first thing a stockman might see are cows returning to heat when they should be pregnant. 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. Individuals that had cattle in this area and are concerned this could affect their cattle herd should contact the Utah State Veterinarian’s office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.