Two bulls tested positive for trichomoniasis last week in Iowa.
This is the first known case of the disease in Iowa but there have been more than 200 cases in nearby Missouri as this venereal disease of cattle seems to continue its march from the western states toward the east.
This despite the fact most of the primary beef cattle raising states have passed stiff regulations on the imports, sale and movement of breeding stock and requiring testing for trichomoniasis.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said it would issue an order of quarantine for the facility where the disease was found. That quarantine will remain in place until further testing confirms the disease is not present in the herd.
Trichomoniasis is most often spread by infected bulls as they breed multiple cows. The open range of the western states was once a common place for this to occur. Now the general movement of cattle and perhaps the high price of low numbers of cattle are inducing even more trading about of breeding stock and more movement of the disease.
Cows which become infected often abort and come up open.
Last year, a spike in cases of this bovine venereal disease prompted the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission to implement emergency regulations requiring testing of all bulls being brought into the state. That state finished the year with 97 detected cases of trichomoniasis.
Problems continue in the Plains states and western states, too.
In April of this year the Montana Department of Livestock was investigating a trich outbreak among cattle, with 30 bulls in six herds testing positive.
Colorado officials said in late May of this year had been 10 trichomoniasis cases in eight counties.
In fact, most states west of Iowa have cases of trich and regulations to try to control it.
Colorado animal health officials list four most important risk factors for cattle and for herds:
1. Bull exposure from neighboring pastures/herds
2. Cows commingling with neighboring pastures/herds
3. Adding new bulls without testing them
4. Retaining open cows into the next breeding season