Source: Texas Animal Health Commission
The U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has (APHIS) confirmed that 2 horses in Otero County, N.M., tested positive for Vesicular stomatitis (VS). The horses were tested after lesions were observed on both animals. The New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB) is working with APHIS on an epidemiological investigation.
The premises of the two horses, which includes three additional horses, remains under quarantine. NMLB officials inspected all livestock within a 1-mile radius of the index premises, a total of 128 horses and 24 head of cattle on 18 premises. No new cases of VS have been identified in the immediate area or elsewhere in the state of New Mexico
Based on this confirmation of VS, all livestock leaving Otero County, N.M., will be required to have an inspection by a veterinarian within 7 days of transport if they are traveling to a public event such as roping, racing, breeding or any form of public exhibition. This includes traveling interstate.
The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) prohibits entry of animals from any premises quarantined for VS and also requires livestock to be accompanied by a valid certificate of veterinary inspection.
VS can cause blisters and sores in the mouth and on the tongue, muzzle, teats or hooves of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, llamas and a number of other animals. Lesions will usually heal in two to three weeks. Because the signs of VS mimic those of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), animal health officials strongly urge livestock owners and caretakers to report potential cases of VS to their private veterinary practitioner or state livestock health officials.
The TAHC encourages livestock owners to use the best means possible to limit exposure of their livestock to insect bites. It is theorized that insects are responsible for the transmission of VS.
For more information on Texas entry requirements, visit http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/regs/entry.html or call 1-800-550-8242 and ask for the Permits Department.
Updates about the New Mexico situation are available from APHIS at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine/vsv/.
A USDA APHIS-VS fact sheet about vesicular stomatitis is available at www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/content/printable_version/fs_vesicular_stomatitis_07.pdf.