PEDV now reportable – Federal Order to follow.

Third time this week is a charm.

 Please Read as action may be required 


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Additional USDA Actions to Combat Spread of Diseases Among U.S. Pork Producers  
  Required Reporting of Cases Latest Measure to Slow Disease Spread
  St. Paul, Minn., April 18, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that in an effort to further enhance the biosecurity and health of the US swine herd while maintaining movement of pigs in the US, the USDA will require reporting of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) and Swine Delta Coronavirus in order to slow the spread of this disease across the United States. USDA is taking this latest action due to the devastating effect on swine health since it was first confirmed in the country last year even though PEDv it is not a reportable disease under international standards. PEDv only affects pigs and does not pose a risk to people and is not a food safety concern.”USDA has been working closely with the pork industry and our state and federal partners to solve this problem. Together, we have established testing protocols, sequenced the virus and are investigating how the virus is transmitted,” said Vilsack. “Today’s actions will help identify gaps in biosecurity and help us as we work together to stop the spread of these diseases and the damage caused to producers, industry and ultimately consumers.”In addition to requiring reporting of the PED virus, today’s announcement will also require tracking movements of pigs, vehicles, and other equipment leaving affected premises; however, movements would still be allowed. USDA is also working with industry partners to increase assistance to producers who have experienced PED virus outbreaks in other critical areas such as disease surveillance, herd monitoring and epidemiological and technical support.

As part of USDA’s coordinated response, USDA’s Farm Loan Programs is working with producers to provide credit options, including restructuring loans, similar to how the Farm Service Agency successfully worked with livestock producers affected by the blizzard in South Dakota. In the case of guaranteed loans, USDA is encouraging guaranteed lenders to use all the flexibility available under existing guarantees, and to use new guarantees where appropriate to continue financing their regular customers.

USDA is already providing assistance to researchers looking into this disease, with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) working with the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa to make models of the disease transmission and testing feedstuffs. This modeling work is contributing to some experimental vaccines to treat animals with the disease. ARS also has a representative serving as a member of the Swine Health Board. USDA also provides competitive grant funding through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative program and anticipates some applications on PEDv research will be submitted soon. In addition, USDA provides formula funds to states and universities through the Hatch Act and National Animal Health Disease Section 1433 for research activities surrounding this disease.

In conjunction with the pork industry, state and federal partners, the USDA is working to develop appropriate responses to the PEDv and Swine Delta Coronavirus. A question-and-answer sheet on today’s reporting requirement is available on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website here: (PDF, 31KB). For a summary of USDA actions to date, additional information is available here: (PDF, 150KB).



PEDV and Swine Delta Coronavirus are now reportable!


USDA states that in the next two weeks they will issue a Federal Order regarding herd  management of PEDV affected herds.  A Federal Order is a no comment order.  The USDA states they intend for the Federal Order to control and slow disease spread.  A stop movement has not been issued at this time.


After the Federal Order is in effect.  USDA will begin rulemaking to mirror Federal Order.  This will probably result in an Interim rule open for comment.  A Final rule will then be based upon the comments.  Plant protection has used Federal Orders frequently.  Veterinary Services much less (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia and Tuberculosis). 


Stay tuned as the Federal Order intends to layout the requirements for producers, veterinarians, and laboratories.

Serving Arizonans…One Animal at a Time  




Rabies guidance

Rabies is rearing its ugly head in Arizona.  The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors declared a rabies quarantine on April 2, 2014 for the boundaries within Santa Cruz County.  The quarantine shall remain in effect for a period ending December 31, 2014.  The County may extend this quarantine for an additional time period, may dissolve the quarantine, may adjust the rabies quarantine area, or may modify the emergency program for the control of rabies within Santa Cruz County.

The Office of the State Veterinarian recommends vaccination of horses, and consideration should be given to vaccinating cattle and sheep that are particularly valuable, or have frequent contact with humans (e.g., in petting zoos, fairs, and other public exhibitions).  Vaccines are available for cattle and sheep by the product names of IMRAB 3, IMRAB Large animal, RABDOMUN, DEFENSOR 3 and Pro-Rab 1 (sheep only).  Minimum age for vaccination is 84 days or about 3 months.  Contact a local veterinarian for vaccination.   

Rabies can manifest different ways, cattle can be dangerous, attacking and pursuing humans.  Lactation ceases abruptly in dairy cattle.  Cattle can be very alert instead of calm or complacent.  The eyes and ears may follow sounds and movement.  A common clinical sign is a characteristic abnormal bellowing, which may occur intermittently until shortly before death. 

Horses and mules frequently show evidence of distress and extreme agitation.  These signs, especially when observed with rolling, may be interpreted as evidence of colic.  As with other species, horses may bite or strike viciously and become unmanageable in a few hours.   If you observe any of these signs please contact your local veterinarian, and have them call our office (602) 542-4293 if they suspect rabies.

Serving Arizonans…One Animal at a Time  


Wildfire season is upon us

Wildfire Preparedness for Animals

The wildfire season is upon us, which means disaster preparedness planning needs to be completed, practiced, and/or reviewed.  The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency depends largely on emergency planning done today.  Some of the things you can do: assemble a disaster kit, identify your animals, find a safe place to stay ahead of time, evacuation routes, team-up with a neighbor, and remember safety is paramount.

Preparation makes all the difference, if it is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pets.  If you evacuate take your pets.  Pets left behind can easily be injured, lost, or killed.  You may not be able or allowed to go back for you pets.  Do not assume you will be allowed to bring your pet to an emergency shelter.  Before a disaster hits call your local office of emergency management to verify if they allow pets in the shelters, or find a pet-friendly motel or hotel.

Large animals and livestock need extra consideration in disaster planning.  It is especially important due to the size of the animals and their shelter and transportation needs.  If evacuation is not possible, a decision must be made whether to confine livestock or leave them out.  In many circumstances confinement takes away any chance of the animal protecting itself.

Make a disaster kit, include:  basic first aid kit, medications, ropes, leather halters, flashlight, portable radio, batteries, paint, 3 days of food and water.

Identification is accomplished by microchip, brands, pictures, unique markings, ear tags, tattoos, registration papers, brand papers, or by a combination of the above.  If you have not had your animal permanently identified than paint your cell phone number or the last four digits of your social security number on them.  If you only have nylon halters, remove them because if they get to close to the fire they get hot and can cause further skin damage (they also don’t break if hung up).  If you have time, and you cannot evacuate livestock, lead them away from the buildings before releasing them to encourage them to move away from the buildings and the impending fire.

To plan your evacuation route, contact your local emergency management officials, your local county law enforcement officials, or your local animal control officers to find out what they recommend and what procedures they have in place for disasters.  Make plans for more than one evacuation route in case the wildfire cuts off one of your exits.

The buddy system with a neighbor may help in the joint resources of trailers and supplies.  Work as a team, and get out fast!

The safety of you and your family is paramount.  If you get word that your area is being evacuated start the process immediately.  Wildfires are very unpredictable and can spread rapidly.  As soon as you get word of a forced evacuation, begin to implement your evacuation plan as sometimes loading livestock will take longer than you expect.

There are disaster committees at the county and state levels (County Posse/Rodeo Management, AZVMA Disaster Committee, AZ Humane Society, Arizona Department of Agriculture staff, AZ Horse Council, Arizona Livestock Incident Response Team (ALIRT) that may be able to provide assistance, become familiar with how to contact them.

Serving Arizonans…One Animal at a Time

Attractive Nuisance

Attractive Nuisance. Doesn’t the very term strike you as a load of um, hooey?! George Orwell must often times be crying in his grave.

Not that I want to get back into the tort world. (Much of my corporate experience was spent there.) And not that I have no concern for children either (having managed to go 2 for 2 getting them into adulthood, I’m keenly aware of the risks). But there has recently been a ruling in another state that I thought I should bring to folks’ attention, especially horse-owning folks.

Last week the Supreme Court of Connecticut upheld a ruling that horses are naturally vicious (an extremely perplexing conclusion given that horses are a prey species!) This decision stems from a suit filed there in 2006 involving a boy who was bitten by a horse while he was trying to pet it. What the CT Supreme Court did was to affirm the Appellate Court decision. That decision stated that horses are “naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious.” [emphasis added]

Now let me take a moment to pull up a few definitions of the word, “vicious” so that we are clear on the topic. You can follow the link I included or here are Merriam Webster’s first words: “having the nature or quality of vice or immorality: depraved” which were followed by defective, faulty and then included malicious, spiteful.

(In a related light, are any of us not violent when feeling threatened? And if so, are you going to survive very long if you aren’t capable of becoming violent?? Non-violence as a form of protest is all well and good in matters of human discourse. Try that in the natural world of predator and prey and see where it gets you!)

One of the (seemingly forgotten) aspects of the federal system of our nation is that one state’s laws has no bearing on another state. However, increasingly opinions in one place tend to sway those in others (and makes me wonder about personal conviction and resoluteness.) Or perhaps in another but similar light, the tyranny of the majority coupled with social media and a populace with extensive leisure time have created a situation likely unforeseeable by the Founders.

Arizona law does offer protections to equine owners in the form of ARS 12-553. Limited liability of equine owners and owners of equine facilities; exception; definitions. But in the tort arena of “attractive nuisance” I do not see much in the way of protection.

Food for thought. Just don’t choke on it!

And enjoy the ride.