BISMARCK – North Dakota’s deputy state veterinarian is urging livestock producers to be very cautious about importing animals from states where vesicular stomatitus (VS) has been detected.
“The first 2009 case of vesicular stomatitus was confirmed in West Texas last week,” Dr. Beth Carlson said Monday. “As a result, all horses, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, and cervidae (deer and elk) from Texas or any other affected state must have a pre-entry permit prior to importation to North Dakota. Using the permit process to screen animals reduces the chances of this costly disease establishing itself here.”
The permit number must be listed on the certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI). The veterinarian who issues the CVI must include the statement: "The animals represented on this CVI have not originated from a premises or an area under quarantine for vesicular stomatitis or a premises on which vesicular stomatitis has been diagnosed in the last 30 days. I have examined the animals and found no signs of vesicular stomatitis.”
Carlson said horse owners should consider altering their routes if they are planning to travel with their animals through areas affected by the disease. VS is spread by insects and by direct contact with infected animals.
A viral disease of horses, cattle, swine, goats, deer or other animals, VS causes blister-like lesions to form in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, and teats. These blisters swell and break, leaving raw tissue that is so painful that infected animals generally refuse to eat or drink and show signs of lameness, resulting in severe weight loss. Affected dairy cows often have a considerable drop in milk production. The disease is usually not fatal.
VS can cause economic losses to livestock producers, but is especially significant because its external symptoms resemble those of the far more serious foot-and-mouth disease. Laboratory tests are required to distinguish the two diseases from the other.
MEDIA: For more information, please call Dr. Beth Carlson or Dr. Jesse Vollmer at (701) 328-2655.