Florida Restricts Animals from States with VS Cases

Florida has placed restrictions on the import of animals from states affected by vesicular stomatitis (VS), Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson announced Friday. Texas officials announced June 12 that a horse in Starr County was positive for the disease. This is the first case of VS in the United States since 2006.

Vesicular stomatitis is a highly contagious, viral disease that affects horses, cattle, swine, and occasionally sheep, goats, and deer.

The disease causes blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, prepuce, and teats of livestock. When the blisters break, they can leave painful raw areas that can precipitate lameness and a reluctance to eat. It is also difficult to distinguish between this virus and foot-and-mouth disease, a devastating livestock disease found outside the United States.

Florida requires veterinary inspection of susceptible animals coming from states affected with vesicular stomatitis.

Hoofed animals entering Florida from Texas will require prior permission for entry and must be accompanied by an official certificate of veterinary inspection. The certificate of veterinary inspection must state that the animals are free of clinical signs of vesicular stomatitis and have not been exposed nor located within 10 miles of a positive premises, within the previous 30 days.

In addition, any hoofed livestock from states that are affected with vesicular stomatitis are required to have documentation to show they have been tested and found negative within 10 days of movement to Florida.

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