WSDA issues advisory about vesicular stomatitis

  |   Animal Health

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) announced that all susceptible species (cattle, equine, swine, sheep and goats) entering Washington State from a state where vesicular stomatitis (VS) has been diagnosed within the past 30 days must be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) with a valid entry permit number. The CVI for susceptible species must be issued within 24 hours of shipment to Washington State.

Vesicular stomatitis (VS) is a highly infectious, reportable disease of equine and cloven-hooved animals. It periodically enters the United States from foreign countries and there is suspicion the pathogen remains in the environment without causing immediate disease, only to appear later in the same area for reasons not understood. The virus is directly transmitted via infected animals and transmitted by flies and gnats.

To date, the 2019 VS outbreak has included about 512 cases in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming; all cases have occurred in horses except for two in cattle. The disease causes limited economic hardship in horses, but affects equine well-being and movement of horses between facilities or events. Bovine cases are of great concern: in addition to animal welfare and weight loss concerns, signs of VS in cloven-hooved animals are identical to signs of economically-devastating diseases in cloven-hooved animals.

The CVI must contain the following:

  1. Entry permit number
  2. The temperature reading of each equine at the time of inspection
  3. The following statement written by an accredited veterinarian: “All animals identified on this certificate have been examined and found to be free from clinical signs of Vesicular Stomatitis. During the past 30 days, these animals have not been exposed to Vesicular Stomatitis.”

Most experienced rodeo contestants and fair exhibitors are aware of these requirements, but the State Veterinarian recommends animals be thoroughly examined prior to entering fairgrounds and facilities from any destination and monitored frequently for the appearance of clinical signs of VS and other diseases.

Signs of VS can include lethargy, long ropey saliva/drool, tongue and mouth ulcers/crusts, coronary band lesions, and high fever. If any of these signs are identified, a local veterinarian should immediately examine the animal and discuss findings with the State Veterinarian.

Please contact WSDA at (360) 902-1878 for more information, health certificate requirements, or any other questions pertaining to animal health in Washington State.


Posted August 9, 2019