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Update in Regards to the Western National: Contagious Horse and Cattle Virus Detected in Utah
May 9, 2015

UPDATE:  The Western Spring National Show and Sale are still to continue as scheduled, however, many US exhibitors are also questioning their involvement due to a lack of clear answers about their status to return to their home states. Implementation of a 21-day quarantine on their return has already caused Canadian exhibitors to decide not to attend the 100th Anniversary of the Richmond Black & White Heritage Show (Western National Spring Holstein Show) in Richmond, UT.

The quarantine has been prompted by the recent confirmation of Vesicular Stomatitis in a mule at a trail event in Kane County, UT, 380 miles south of Richmond. Four other horses that were at the event are showing symptoms of the disease, and are undergoing testing and quarantine.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:
A highly contagious livestock virus that causes lesions on horses and cattle has been detected in Utah, the Utah State Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) announced Tuesday.

Tests conducted by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, have confirmed the finding of Vesicular Stomatitis, or VS, on one mule in Kane County. Four other horses are showing symptoms and are undergoing tests. An additional nine horses may have had contact with the infected animals, the UDAF said in a news release.
Warren Hess, acting state veterinarian, has put all 14 animals on a mandatory quarantine.
The UDAF believes the virus was brought into the state by animals traveling from Arizona, one of several states where cases of VS recently have been confirmed.

The virus was discovered during the Mount Carmel XP horse endurance/trail event, which ran April 29-May 3. Participants in the event are encouraged to examine their animals for signs and report any symptoms to a local veterinarian or the UDAF at 801-538-4910.
“This is an early onset of VS cases,” UDAF said in the release, “and horse owners are cautioned that VS may be very active this year.”
If VS is detected, there is no specific treatment or cure in livestock.
The disease primarily affects cattle and horses, but occasionally swine, sheep and goats. The lesions of VS are similar to those of foot-and-mouth disease, which affects cloven-hoofed animals and was eradicated from the United States in 1929.
Humans can become infected with VS when handling affected animals, but this is rare. In people, VS causes influenza-like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, headache and malaise.
Many states, including Idaho, have applied interstate movement restrictions of various types to livestock to avoid the spread of VS.
The Idaho State Racing Commission and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday they are requiring “a certificate of veterinary inspection” before horses from infected states are allowed to attend races in Idaho.
This is not the first time Utah has seen cases of Vesicular Stomatitis. It was previously reported in 2005 and the mid 1980s.

By Kathy Stephenson
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune


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