Two beef cows in a field

Flies, Ticks and Anaplasmosis

Kortnie Wheaton Animal Health, Livestock diseases, Sanitation, Wildlife

Finding a dead cow on a farm is very alarming. A farmer needs to know why, because there are many causes that result in a cow dying. In this particular case, a call to the veterinarian and some diagnostic tests determined that the cow had anaplasmosis.  Anaplasmosis is a bacterial infection of concern to cattle producers because they might lose …

Students getting ready to work on a farm

Farm Biosecurity Education Goes Virtual with Discovery Learning Series

Joanna Cummings Agriculture Education, Livestock diseases

We are witnessing in real time the spread of a virulent, infectious disease known as COVID-19 among the human population. Livestock and poultry are susceptible to infectious diseases as well, and the impacts can be devastating for anyone raising farm animals. The most effective strategy for protecting farm animal health is to prevent or reduce the chances of introducing a …

Sheep in a field with barns in the background

Rinderpest’s Reign of Terror

Katie Loberti Animal Health, Livestock diseases, Policy, Wildlife

A disease so fearsome it was given the name “cattle plague”, rinderpest left behind trails of devastation in the wake of outbreaks. The 1887-1892 Great Ethiopian Famine occurred when almost all of the cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats and wildlife species died from this disease (Morens, D. M., et al., 2011). In the 19th century, rinderpest killed 20 percent of all …

Grey rabbit sitting

Leaping Across the U.S.: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease

Katie Loberti Animal 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 …

USDA beagle inspector dog

International Travel: A Disease Risk for Livestock

Samantha Shields Farm 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 …

Lamb in a field

Producers Benefit from Scrapie Program Cooperation

Samantha Shields Animal 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 …

View of a farm and lake at sunset

Draw the Line on Livestock Diseases

Samantha Shields Animal 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 …

Horse and rider jumping over gate

Vesicular Stomatitis Impacts Livestock Exhibitions

Samantha Shields Animal Health, Livestock diseases Leave a Comment

Summer and fall are the times of year when many livestock producers participate in fairs, exhibitions and shows. However, it is not the time to be lax about biosecurity measures given the ongoing risks of commingling animals at these events. Horses and other livestock being hauled to and from exhibitions may contribute to spreading vesicular stomatitis (VS) and other highly …

Poultry production and secure food supply plans

Small Farms, Big Impact: Secure Food Supply Plans

Samantha Shields Animal Health, Livestock diseases, Policy Leave a Comment

Livestock production in the United States varies in size and scope from large-scale commercial operations to small-scale, backyard producers. At the national level, plans have been created to ensure that in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak, unaffected parts of the agriculture industry can avoid interruption. These “food supply plans” may seem unimportant for farms with local markets …

Pigs on a farm

Voluntary Sharing of Disease Data has Value

Dr. Julie Smith Animal Health, Livestock diseases, Research Leave a Comment

Biosecurity and surveillance are complementary. Health surveillance in human, plant, or animal contexts involves collecting, analyzing, and interpreting health-related data. These data then inform what is done in terms of health programs and strategic communication. National surveillance systems often rely on the reporting of diagnoses of certain diseases to regulatory agencies. However, agricultural industries can find value in sharing animal …