Local officials are expressing concern over the reappearance here of the Amblyomma Tick, also known as the Tropical Bond Tick.
As a result, they are appealing to farmers to join them in the quest to combat the pest.
Veterinary Officer, Dr. Sharmine Melville-Edwin, has disclosed that the tick has an affinity for cattle as its host species.
She told the Communication Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture that cattle represent the species that the tick will be more attracted to.
“However, if the tick cannot find its host species which is the cattle, it can attack other species of animals like sheep, goat even horses and it can attack other species even dogs as well,” Melville-Edwin disclosed.
The Veterinary Officer explained that many years ago this country was part of a Caribbean Amblyomma Program (CAP).
She said the programme vigorously attacked the Amblyomma tick in an effort to eradicate it.
“After many years of treatment, many years of ticks surveillance we were able to have this tick under control. We actually gained, what we called provisional free status from the Tropical Bond Tick in 2001, but because we were low on stock of the particular product that we use to treat the tick, there was a resurgence of the tick a few years ago,” the Veterinary Officer recalled.
She said the pest can cause animals to develop a harmful skin infection called dermatophilosis which can affect the profit margins of livestock farmers.
Nevertheless, Melville-Edwin noted that dermatophilosis cannot be spread from animals to humans and vice-versa.
But she explained that because the ministry of agriculture wants to control the spread of the tick, it is asking persons not to purchase affected animals in order to prevent the spread of the ticks on the island.
According to the Communications Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Amblyomma tick is easily identifiable.
It observed that the colour of the enamel is predominantly pink to orange, or orange to red, while eyes are always present and may be flat. T