A grey baby rabbit sitting on a wooden bench.

Leaping Across the U.S.: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease

Katie LobertiAnimal Health, Livestock diseases, Risk assessment Leave a Comment

Imagine walking into a rabbitry one day and noticing multiple rabbits dead with nothing other than a little bit of blood on their nose. A highly contagious foreign animal disease by the name of rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD) is on the rise nationally, and is causing many rabbit farmers and owners to fear for their stock and pets. While it …

Black faced sheep herd

Sheep and Wool Supply Plan

Joanna CummingsAnimal Health, Livestock diseases, Planning Leave a Comment

The United States is fortunate that foot and mouth disease (FMD)—a highly contagious, devastating viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals—has not occurred in the country since 1929. Secure Food Supply Plans, including the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan, were developed to assist producers, transporters and food processors in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak in the U.S., namely …

A large swine farm barn filled with many stalls of large, pink pigs.

Updates on African Swine Fever

Kortnie WheatonAnimal Health, Livestock diseases, Traffic Control Leave a Comment

*Updated March, 2023. African swine fever (ASF) has the potential to destroy the U. S. pork industry by killing millions of pigs if it enters the country. A study from Iowa State University projected that if ASF spread to the United States and was not controlled within two years, the pork industry would lose $50 billion over ten years. Even …

A light brown horse and a dark brown horse are touching noses.

An Unwelcome Sign of Summer: Vesicular Stomatitis

Katie LobertiAnimal Health, Livestock diseases Leave a Comment

Imagine looking forward to spending time with your horses during the summer, but finding them drooling with blistered tongues and muzzles. Unfortunately, this is what some farmers and equestrians in southwestern and midwestern areas of the United States are experiencing this summer because of an outbreak of vesicular stomatitis (VS). VS is a zoonotic disease—caused by the VS virus (VSV)—and …

A red barn with a windmill and other older barns, and a corn field on a Wisconsin farm.

Emergency Preparedness is Risky Business

Dr. Julie SmithAnimal Health, Livestock diseases, Planning

When I talked about emergency preparedness with folks involved in agriculture in 2011, I was referencing the Deepwater Horizon oil well explosion, the toxic sludge flood in Hungary, and the Fukushima nuclear plant accident in Japan as example of disasters that were unanticipated. In 2019, I would have referenced the crashes of the Boeing 737-Max, the collapse of the Brumadinho …

A female wood duck with four ducklings together on a branch above a pond.

Getting Stung: Mosquitoes, EEE and Biosecurity

Samantha ShieldsAnimal Health, Livestock diseases Leave a Comment

Mosquitoes are stealthy pests, but red itchy bumps are not the only thing they leave behind. Mosquitoes can transmit viruses like the one that causes eastern equine encephalitis (EEE or Triple E). Although outbreaks of EEE are not widespread across the United States, the disease can be devastating. An Uncommon but Serious Disease Eastern equine encephalitis is an uncommon but …

A light brown horse and a dark brown horse are touching noses.

Limiting the Spread of Equine Herpesvirus-1

Samantha ShieldsAnimal Health, Livestock diseases Leave a Comment

Both voluntary and official quarantines are used to limit the spread of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). For a month beginning the week prior to Thanksgiving 2019, both types of movement restriction were implemented in several parts of the country. Case reports can be found on the disease outbreak alert page maintained by the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC). The Impacts of …

A USDA beagle inspector dog wearing a vest that states, USDA Beagle Brigade.

International Travel: A Disease Risk for Livestock

Samantha ShieldsFarm Visitors, Livestock diseases Leave a Comment

During October 2019, Australia’s agriculture minister cancelled a Vietnamese woman’s visa after authorities found 22 pounds of undeclared food products in her luggage. The luggage contained pork, quail, squid, pâté, fruit, eggs and garlic (Griffiths, 2019). International travel and trade increases the risks of introducing a foreign/exotic disease or pest into another country. Australia had to develop an extensive eradication …

A white lamb standing next to a fence post in a field.

Producers Benefit from Scrapie Program Cooperation

Samantha ShieldsAnimal Health, Livestock diseases, Policy Leave a Comment

There are many reasons why people are reluctant to comply with government laws and regulations. However, a cooperative state-federal-industry program for eradicating scrapie in the United States has resulted in excellent progress towards eliminating this disease in sheep and goats. The number of animals testing positive for scrapie in the U.S. has decreased by 99 percent, since analysis of producer-submitted …

A colorful sunset view of the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain.

Draw the Line on Livestock Diseases

Samantha ShieldsAnimal Health, Livestock diseases, Sanitation, Traffic Control Leave a Comment

A line of separation is a biosecurity practice that involves setting up boundaries or zones on a livestock operation. The purpose of the line is to block the introduction, or limit the spread of disease-causing agents (NPPC, 2013). Compliance with procedures for crossing the line can become an issue with farm workers and visitors. The line is meant to separate …

Very red maple leaves on branches.

Don’t Let Your Horse Eat Red Maple Leaves

Samantha ShieldsAnimal Health

The red maple (Acer rubrum) is one of the most common and widespread native deciduous trees of eastern and central North America. These fast growing trees are usually planted for their beautiful red leaf color in the fall season, and as a shade tree. However, the fallen leaves could be deadly for horses. Ingestion of wilted or dry leaves by …