Vet inspections on horses tightened

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Grazing horses
Horse grazing

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Agriculture announced new veterinary inspection requirements Sept. 16 for horses entering Ohio.

This applies to all horses, including those intending to participate in the All American Quarter Horse Congress that begins Oct. 1 in Colulmbus. The intent is to prevent the spread of vesicular stomatitis.

State veterinarian Tony Forshey refined the rules to say all horses entering Ohio from a state where the vesicular stomatitis has been diagnosed within the last seven days, or a state that contains a premises quarantined for vesicular stomatitis should be accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection (health certificate) dated within seven days of entry.

The certificate must have the following statement: “All animals identified on the certificate of veterinary inspection have been inspected and found to be free from clinical signs of vesicular stomatitis.”

Horses from quarantined or infected premises are still banned from entering the state.

Vesicular stomatitis is a highly contagious viral disease that primarily affects horses, but can also infect cattle, swine, sheep and goats.

The disease causes blister-like lesions, which burst and leave open wounds. It is extremely painful to animals and can result in the inability to eat and drink and even lameness.

Biting insects are the most common method of transmission. Humans can also contract the disease by coming into contact with lesions, saliva or nasal secretions from infected animals.

In people, the disease causes flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle ache, headache and nausea.

Currently, vesicular stomatitis has been detected in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. A current list of suspect and confirmed cases can be found in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly situation report that can be found online.

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