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      Cattle tick quarantine in Starr, Hidalgo Counties

      Andrew Prukop, a Cattle Rancher in McCook, Texas, has had his cattle operation set up for over 20 years with out a problem.

      Now the Texas Animal Health Commission has moved a growing Fever Tick Quarantine blanket over his ranch. The quarantine zone is getting bigger, said Prukop. I just now moved in to the quarantine blanket area, well the blanket area moved in to me. This new quarantine is designed to help stop the spread of the cattle fever tick.

      The tick was declared eradicated in the U.S. since 1943, except for some border towns where it TMs believed they get them from Mexico.

      To protect against ticks, Prukop, just like other ranchers in the area have to get their cattle inspected and dipped in Rio Grande City which is 45 miles away from his ranch. It makes a big difference in how I can market cattle, move and transport them, said Prukop. To take them off of this place, usually all cattle have to go through a dipping station. And, my closest dipping station is in Rio Grande City. Prukop is in an unusual predicament.

      He owns property on both sides of the quarantine line.

      To move his cattle 6 miles from one property to the other, he has to go 90 miles out of his way to go through the dipping and inspection process.

      The quarantine zone is only temporary.

      The U.S.D.A. has a tick force inspecting the zone making sure that it is clear before they remove any type of quarantine.

      Since cattle ticks have no effects on people, Prukop said, they should have nothing to worry about.