Bats can infect Yucatán cattle with a lethal zoonotic disease

Photo: (Yucatán a la mano)

Mérida, Yucatán, (July 17, 2021).- The president of the Regional Cattle Union of Yucatan (UGRY), Roger Díaz Mendoza reported that in the southern and eastern cone of the State the attack of bats on cattle is on the rise, causing diseases such as Derriengue, which affects livestock; there are many caves in that part of the state where bats abound.

Bovine paralytic rabies (Derriengue) is a zoonotic disease transmitted by a certain species of blood-sucking bats that attack cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and pigs.

He pointed out that in the case of small ranchers who are in the west part of the State, they do not have reports of attacks by “blood-sucking” bats on cattle that transmit diseases such as paralytic rabies and can cause death. So this is not a big problem for that area of the state since there are almost no caves where these animals live.

He clarified that there is a state cattle committee that every year carries out work to capture bats who are smeared with poison on their backs, and these animals lick each other and die, reducing their population and the risk of attacks on cattle, horses, and sheep to whom they transmit diseases such as rabies and Derriengue.

Obviously, this is not right since bats are a vital part of the ecosystem in the Yucatan low forest, as most species of bats feed on insects that could become pests, and also contribute to the pollination of different endemic plants and flowers.

Díaz Mendoza said that if bats have been attacking cattle in the eastern part of the state, causing animals to die, it is due to the carelessness of the corresponding authorities to control these animals, it is a job that must be carried out all year round, especially in the hottest months; fortunately, UGRY members do not report this problem.

Finally, Díaz Mendoza explained that during the rainy season the pastures grow, which benefits the cattle sector. They hope that there will continue to be more rainfall for the grass to grow, there will be enough grass to feed the herd, and thus the animals will be healthier, recovering the quality of their meat, and can be sold at a better price in the national market.

The Yucatan Times Newsroom



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