Trich found in 4th South Dakota herd

Farm Forum

PIERRE – A reproductive disease of cattle that can be economically devastating for ranchers has been diagnosed in another South Dakota cattle herd. Bovine trichomoniasis, or trich, has recently been diagnosed in Dewey County, becoming the fourth South Dakota herd with the disease, since November 2015.

Trichomonas foetus is transmitted between cows and bulls during breeding, and can result in 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 cows, cows showing signs of heat when they should be pregnant, and the presence of many late-calving cows.

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 purchased, they must be tested negative for Trichomonas foetus prior to breeding. Timely pregnancy testing of females 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 help keep livestock in their respective pastures and avoid unintentional commingling of animals.

In cooperation with the cattle industry the South Dakota Animal Industry Board has implemented rules in an effort to help prevent trichomoniasis in cattle:

1. Non-virgin bulls must be tested negative for trichomoniasis prior to being sold, loaned or leased in South Dakota for breeding purposes.

2. Any non-virgin bull entering South Dakota must be tested negative for trichomoniasis.

3. No non-virgin and non-pregnant female cattle may 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 South Dakota Animal Industry Board at 605-773-3321.