It has now been almost four months that the horse industry in the United States has been vigilant about outbreaks of Vesicular Stomatitis in the states of Colorado and Texas. This week's statistics show a slight abatement, but the problem is ongoing.
First, from Colorado:
As of September 10, 2014, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office has 189 locations under quarantine after horses and cows tested positive for Vesicular Stomatitis (VS); 88 of the 277 total quarantines since the beginning of the outbreak have now been released.
While the number of quarantines is reduced, there are also four additional counties in the state reporting cases. There is also an increase in the number of cases in cattle; in the outbreak's early days, most of the cases were horses.
State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr warned that horse owners must follow quarantine procedures: “The State Veterinarian’s Office is following up on reports of horse owners who have moved their horses out of a quarantined facility. If requirements of the quarantine are not followed, the Department will investigate, write citations for violations, and institute fines according to the Livestock Health Act in State statute.”
In Colorado, as of September 4, there had been 344 horses and 7 cows that tested positive for VS. According to USDA data, 29 new cases have been reported in Colorado since that report.
County totals for premises under quarantine in Colorado are:
Adams 10 (2 released)
Boulder 49 (26 released)
Broomfield 2 (1 released)
El Paso (1 released)
Larimer 65 (8 released)
Weld 35 (50 released)
Total Colorado quarantines in effect 189
Total released 88
In Texas, meanwhile, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) reported today that there have been no new cases to report, and 18 premises have been released from quarantine restrictions.
Since the outbreak began in May, 58 premises in 12 Texas counties have been confirmed with VS. Currently affected counties include: Bastrop, Falls, Guadalupe, McLennan, and Travis counties. Of the 58 premises, 43 have been released. Seven counties have been released from quarantine: Jim Wells, Kinney, Nueces, San Patricio, Val Verde, Williamson, and Hidalgo counties.
Between the two states, the USDA reports that 335 VSV-positive premises have been quarantined, of which 325 are equine premises and two have both cattle and horses.
Please check the following resource links for more information, or if you plan to take horses into or out of either state.
For a map of Colorado counties with confirmed cases, visit http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth?1dmy&urile=wcm%3apath%3a%2Faphis_content_library%2Fsa_our_focus%2Fsa_animal_health%2Fsa_animal_disease_information%2Fsa_equine_health%2Fsa_vesicular_stomatitis%2Fct_vesicular_stomatitis.
For VS history and past updates from Texas, visit http://www.tahc.texas.gov/animal_health/equine/equine.html