FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2012
Contact: Christi Lightcap, (303) 239-4190, Christi.firstname.lastname@example.org
New Requirement for Various Livestock Entering Colorado from New Mexico
Vesicular Stomatitis Guidelines for Livestock Shows, Fairs, Exhibitions, and Events
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – New Mexico has reported that 11 premises are now under quarantine for Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) within their state. In order to limit the spread of the virus, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office has issued a new requirement for horses, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, swine, and camelids entering the state from New Mexico.
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."
“The purpose of this new requirement is to ensure that veterinarians issuing health certificates are aware of the spread of Vesicular Stomatitis and are vigilant in looking for signs of the virus. VS can be painful for the animals and costly to their owners,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. “While this virus does not typically cause death, the animal can suffer from painful sores so it is important to monitor herds for symptoms.”
The primary spread of VS is thought to occur through insects that migrate along river valleys. Colorado livestock owners are warned to take added precautions due to the proximity of the virus.
Veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal may have VS or any other vesicular disease should immediately contact State or Federal animal health authorities. Livestock with symptoms of VS are isolated until they are cleared through the US Department of Agriculture diagnostic laboratory testing. There are no USDA approved vaccines for VS.
While rare, human cases of VS can occur, usually among those who handle infected animals. VS in humans can cause flu-like symptoms and only rarely includes lesions or blisters.
Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) Signs and Transmission
VS susceptible species include horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, deer and other species of animals. The clinical signs of the disease include blisters in the mouth and above the hoof, erosions and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats and above the hooves of susceptible livestock. Vesicles are usually only seen early in the course of the disease.
Tips for Livestock Owners
The Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office is recommending that Colorado livestock shows, fairs, exhibitions, and events exercise extra precautionary measures to minimize the transmission of VS. The following strategies are recommended:
During the event, important VS disease prevention procedures include minimizing the sharing of water and feed/equipment, applying insect repellent daily (especially to the animals ears), and closely observing animals for signs of vesicular stomatitis.
For additional information, contact the Colorado State Veterinarian’s office at 303-239-4161. To view the current location of cases and other important updates and information, visit