Members of the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Horseback Team recently apprehended approximately 300 head of stray and feral cattle originally from Mexico along the Rio Grande River near Langtry, located in Val Verde County.
In the spring and summer of 2014, the team performed multiple roundups to catch misplaced Mexican origin cattle free ranging on the Texas side of the river, in an effort to protect the state's animal health population from disease threats such as tuberculosis and brucellosis that are commonly found in Mexico.
Ty Billings, TAHC Region 5 inspector and horseback response team member, said, "It was great to partner with our friends at USDA in gathering the cattle. I look forward to working with them more in the future. We share the same goal of protecting the health of Texas' livestock and serving and protecting our great state's livestock commerce."
The Horseback Emergency Response Team is the only team of its kind in the United States. The Team recently received the Emergency Management Association of Texas' (EMAT) award for Excellence in Emergency Management.
The team of approximately 25 responders includes TAHC livestock inspectors and USDA mounted patrol inspectors. The role of the team is to locate, contain, identify and move stray or feral livestock in the aftermath of a disaster, or when they pose an animal health or public safety threat.
Dr. Dee Ellis stated, "The Horseback Team is a testament of the TAHC's dedication, innovation and commitment to serve the citizens of Texas. We are proud to have a horse team available to help protect the State's cattle industry from possible disease threats."
For more information about the TAHC, visit www.tahc.texas.gov or call 1-800-550-8242.
Founded in 1893, the Texas Animal Health Commission works to protect the health of all Texas livestock, including: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, goats, equine animals, and exotic livestock.