On one hand I’m often astounded by how little folks know of the responsibilities that members of the State Vet’s Office shoulder. But then from another perspective I’m impressed that anyone knows, particularly beyond their slice of the pie and since so much of animal agriculture is out of sight and out of mind.
So I thought it might help if I shared some of what I presented last week to the AZ Veterinary Medical Association. Don’t worry. I’ll stick to the highlights of what the groups that comprise the SVO do and try to stay out of the details as much as possible. And I’ll be presenting them somewhat in order of priority.
STATUTORY OBLIGATIONS – State Veterinarian
ARS 3-1203. Definitions. ARS 3-1203. General Powers and Duties. ARS 3-1205. Control of Animal Diseases.
- Foreign Animal Disease Prevention and Eradication (things like equine piroplasmosis, foot and mouth disease, or exotic newcastle disease)
- Regulatory or Program Diseases (things we’ve been trying to eliminate over the years like Equine Infectious Anemia, Tuberculosis or Brucellosis)
- note this obligation is to ensure public health by maintaining safe food supply
- Diseases Requiring Mandatory Reporting to the State Vet’s Office (like equine viral encephalomyelitis or rabies)
- note this obligation is often to ensure public health via using animals as sentinels for diseases of concern in humans
- Other Public Concerns (like equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy – EHV and the show in Ogden, UT a couple of years back)
- note this is not an enumerated obligation but a response to significant public concern
This is elaborated in great detail in Arizona Administrative Code specifically Article 6 of Title 3, Animal Services Division Section. In general every animal entering the state must be accompanied by an Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. Many also are required to obtain a Prior Entry Permit #. These movements and documents are tracked by SVO personnel to facilitate disease mitigation/elimination responses.
To facilitate interstate and international animal movement, there is a joint federal-state program whereby veterinarians are authorized to essentially act as a representative of the government. That’s called accreditation. Your vet must be accredited to sign an OCVI (often and erroneously called a health certificate). The training and authorization programs are conducted jointly by SVO personnel & USDA APHIS VS personnel.
Government Operated Animal Pounds/Shelters
ARS 3-1213. Acquisition and Use of… Euthanasia Solution… ARS 11-1002. Powers and Duties…State Vet… ARS 11-1021. Proper care…impounded animals.
- The state vet is obligated to develop methods to allow these agencies to obtain the drugs they require to operate (and by extension monitor their use as these are DEA Controlled Substances with high abuse potential)
- The state vet is obligated to develop euthanasia procedures for these agencies to follow.
- In the last few months we’ve managed to hammer these 2 items out.
- The state vet is obligate to designate rabies vaccines, vaccination methods and frequency
Licensing and Inspections
- biologicals including rabies vaccines
- feedlot operations
- aquaculture operations
STATUTORY OBLIGATIONS – Livestock Services
ARS 3-1201(5.) “Livestock” means cattle, equine, sheep, goats and swine, except feral pigs.
Self Inspection REQUIRED FOR MOVEMENT
- Range Cattle Intrastate
- Non-Range Cattle
- Most Exhibitors
*every movement requires an inspection certificate, which generates tons of paper to be processed and receipts to be deposited and reconciled
ARS 3-1332(D.) Upon being advised that livestock is subject to inspection, livestock officers and inspectors shall arrange for the inspection of the livestock and inspect such livestock within forty-eight hours.
- Range Cattle Ownership Transfer
- Range Cattle Out-of-state Shipment
- Custom-Exempt Slaughter
- Exhibition Swine
*NOTE THE TIME CONSTRAINT DICTATED.
ARS 3-1371.“Livestock officers shall seize livestock, except unweaned animals running with their mothers, wherever found and when the livestock officer questions the livestock’s ownership. The question of ownership may be raised in the following circumstances:” We must seize livestock on any of 8 points.
ARS 3-1401…Stray Laws
“Stray animal” as used in this article means livestock, bison or ratites whose owner is unknown or cannot be located, or any such animal whose owner is known but permits the animal to roam at large on the streets, alleys, roads, range or premises of another without permission, except that this section does not apply to livestock where the principles of a federal permit, federal allotment or federal lease are in dispute.
ARS 3-1721 – Equine in Poor Physical Condition
Any person … who believes that an equine is in poor physical condition because of neglect or cruel treatment may petition on affidavit a justice of the peace… for an order authorizing the department to take possession of and provide care for the equine for a fifteen-day period.
ARS 13-2910 – Animal Cruelty
any Law Enforcement Officer
STATUTORY OBLIGATIONS – Meat & Poultry Inspection
State Inspected Slaughter Establishments
must be “Equal To Or Better” than federal FSIS rules and procedures – 6 Facilities Licensed
Exempt Slaughter Establishments
47 Exempt Facilities (product is personal use, not for retail sale)