States Strengthen Livestock Entry Requirements

New livestock entry requirements imposed due to vesicular stomatitis and equine herpes virus outbreaks.

From the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association

Access contact information for all state animal health officials. (Credit: Journal)

Cases of equine herpes virus type-1 in Oregon and vesicular stomatitis in Utah, New Mexico and Arizona have been confirmed. As a result, state animal health officials are strengthening livestock entry requirements especially for horses traveling from states with confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis. 

From the California Department of Food and Agriculture: 
Based on the international delisting of vesicular stomatitis and recent scientific evidence, California is revising the VS entry requirement statement on certificates of veterinary inspection from VS affected states. Specific changes include the removal of the 10-mile radius restriction and the additional requirement of examination of animals within 72 hours of shipment date. Note: Animals that have been exposed to or located on a VS confirmed or VS suspected premises within the last 30 days are not permitted to enter California.

Effective immediately: All horses, cattle, sheep, goats and swine originating from any state where vesicular stomatitis has been diagnosed, must be accompanied by a health certificate (certificate of veterinary inspection) and signed by an accredited veterinarian that includes the following statement:

"I have examined all the animals identified on this certificate within 72 hours of shipment date and found them to be free from signs of vesicular stomatitis. During the last 30 days, these animals have not been exposed to VS nor located on a VS confirmed or a VS suspected premises."

NOTE: The certificate of veterinary inspection for California horses returning to California from a VS-affected state must include the VS statement written by an accredited veterinarian in the VS-affected state.
Access contact information for all state animal health officials.

Resources to help keep your horses healthy while on the road: 

What is Vesicular Stomatitis? 
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease affecting cattle, horses, swine, sheep, goats, many wild animals, and occasionally humans. VS causes vesicles (blisters) that form in the mouth (on the tongue, dental pad and lips), in the nostrils, on areas around the hooves and on the teats. These vesicles swell and break exposing raw tissue.

In cloven-hoofed animals, these vesicles mimic the vesicles observed with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), a foreign animal disease eradicated from the U.S. in 1929. However, FMD does not cause vesicles in horses.

Sampling and rapid diagnosis are essential when vesicles are observed in cattle and other cloven-hoofed animals. There is no specific treatment for animals infected with VS and no vaccines are available to prevent this disease.

How is VS Spread?
Biting insects and animal-to-animal contact may spread the disease throughout the herd. An infected animal's saliva and fluid from ruptured vesicles can contaminate feed and water, further spreading the disease.

Clinical Signs of VS
Livestock usually show signs two to eight days after exposure to the virus. The first noticeable sign is usually excessive salivation due to the vesicles in the mouth. Vesicles may also be found on the nostrils and around the hooves and teats. Animals may refuse to eat or drink and may show signs of lameness. Affected animals usually recover within two weeks.

What is EHV-1? 
Equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM) is another name for the neurologic disease associated with equine herpes virus type-1 infections. Neurological signs appear as a result of damage to blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord associated with EHV infection. Interference with the blood supply leads to tissue damage and a subsequent loss in normal function of areas in the brain and spinal cord.

Transmission of EHV-1
The most common way for EHV-1 to spread is by direct horse-to-horse contact. This virus is shed from infected horses via the respiratory tract or through direct or indirect contact with an infected aborted fetus and fetal membranes. Horses may appear to be perfectly healthy yet spread the virus via the secretions from their nostrils.

It is important to realize that EHV-1 can also be spread indirectly through contact with physical objects contaminated with infectious virus.