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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Vesicular stomatitis (VS), a viral disease of livestock, was initially found in the outskirts of Tularosa, NM in Otero County in April 2012. No further cases were confirmed in that county, but the disease subsequently was found in Valencia County south of Albuquerque, where a total of nine premises are currently under quarantine for suspected or confirmed cases of VS. In the last week there have been suspected VS cases reported and quarantined in southwestern San Miguel and northern Socorro Counties. Because the disease has a tendency to appear along the path of waterways such as rivers and streams, we consider the counties along the Rio Grande to have elevated risk of the development of positive cases, based on the historical patterns of disease movement in prior year outbreaks.

To minimize the spread of the disease the New Mexico Livestock Board has implemented the following restrictions:

  • Livestock cannot be removed from a VS quarantined premise.
  • All livestock traveling in New Mexico must have in possession a brand inspection of 1-H
  • Out of state livestock must have a health certificate issued within 30 days and livestock temporarily entering New Mexico must ontact their origination state animal health officials for requirements to return from New Mexico
  • Livestock entering public events in New Mexico must either present a Helath Certificate issued within five days or be examined at the show by designated officials
  • Livestock entering public evenets where animals from other states are present must have a Health Certificate issued with five days and will also be examined at the grounds prior to entry into the event
  • Livestock entering public auction must receive a helath examination prior to sale

The Texas Animal Health Commission prohibits entry of animals from VS quarantined premises, and also requires livestock to be accompanied by a valid certificate of veterinary inspection. TAHC officials encourage livestock owners to use the best means possible to limit exposure of their livestock to insect bites.

The state of Colorado has issued a new requirement for horses, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, swine and camelids entering Colorado from NM. The following is from the news release, which appears in its entirety in the link below:

The new requirement states that health certificates should include the following statement from the issuing veterinarian, “I have examined the animal(s) represented on this Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) and have found no signs of vesicular stomatitis and they have not originated from a premises under quarantine for vesicular stomatitis.”

Vesicular stomatitis can affect horses, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. VS causes vesicular or blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the tongue of livestock. These initial lesions progress rapidly to ulcerative lesions and sloughing of the mucous membrane surface. The lesions are painful and the affected animals usually show signs of drooling and decreased appetite. The virus can also cause inflammation and ulcerative lesions on the coronary bands of the hooves and lead to lameness. The virus circulating in New Mexico this year appears to be quite virulent and lesions in most of the affected animals have been extensive and severe.

The disease is spread by many types of biting insects. Virus is shed heavily by infected animals so the disease can be spread by water and feed buckets, bits and other tack and other objects on which an infected animal can deposit virus. Once cases appear VS generally remains active until hard freezes occur in the late fall or winter. Based upon these points there are some important precautions that you as a livestock owner can take to help prevent exposure of your livestock AND the spread of the virus:

  • Use insect repellant products (sprays, eartags etc.), fly sheets and other measures to keep biting insects off your stock.
  • Take steps to control or eliminate sites where biting insects such as flies or mosquitoes might multiply.
  • Check your animals daily for signs and lesions suggesting the presence of VS, and report any suspicious lesions to your veterinarian or to the State Veterinarian’s Office immediately.
  • Avoid travel to areas of the State where active cases are documented or to areas considered higher risk for the emergence of cases.
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