Kentucky Lifts Last of Vesicular Stomatitis Bans

Kentucky state veterinarian Robert Stout, DVM, lifted an embargo last week on the importation of livestock, wild animals, and exotic animals into Kentucky from Colorado. This embargo had been enacted because of vesicular stomatitis (VS), and it was the last of the VS-related restrictions that began with an outbreak in Texas last May.

"These embargos have ended because there are no more active cases of vesicular stomatitis in these states," Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer said. "I appreciate the efforts of Dr. Stout and our entire staff at the Division of Animal Health to keep this disease out of the Commonwealth."

Kentucky imposed a ban on Texas animals in May after a VS outbreak was reported in the western part of the state. A week later, Governor Ernie Fletcher issued an emergency regulation that limited the embargo to about 60 counties in western and southern Texas.

Embargoes were placed on animals from New Mexico in June and Colorado animals in July as outbreaks were reported in those states. The orders also required equids entering Kentucky from states bordering the affected states and the non-embargoed section of Texas to have a negative test for vesicular stomatitis.

The Texas embargo was lifted in October. Stout canceled the ban on animals from New Mexico on Jan. 14.

Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that occurs sporadically in the United States, and usually it appears in southwestern states. The disease can affect horses, cattle, and swine, and occasionally sheep, goats, and deer. It causes blisters to form in the animal's mouth, on teats or along the hooves, resulting in excessive salivation, lameness, or oozing sores. VS may incubate for two to eight days before clinical signs appear. It is rarely fatal and usually lasts about two weeks.

The clinical signs of vesicular stomatitis closely resemble those of foot and mouth disease (FMD), but VS affects horses and FMD does not. Foot and mouth disease has been eradicated from the United States since 1929.

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