Canada Import Restrictions on Wyoming Horses Might be Lifted

Wyoming has been certified as being free of vesicular stomatitis (VS), a viral disease that affects horses, cattle, and other livestock.

Following the discovery of the disease this summer, Canada had put import restrictions on horses and cattle from Wyoming. Dwayne Oldham, DVM, Wyoming state veterinarian, announced Thursday he now anticipates Canada will ease those restrictions.

"Since the first outbreak of VS this summer, private and USDA veterinarians, producers and the Wyoming Livestock Board have worked together to contain and resolve this matter," Oldham said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture notified the Wyoming Livestock Board the state is free of any quarantines for the disease.

A horse on a ranch near the Natrona-Converse county line east of Casper tested positive for the disease in August.

Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease characterized by blister-like lesions on the mouths and tongues of horses, cattle and other livestock. It's transmitted by insects, so outbreaks typically subside in the winter.

The disease is rarely fatal but can cause painful sores and animals might refuse food and water, causing weight loss and reducing their market value.

Although Wyoming is now certified to be free of VS, Oldham said he still advises veterinarians to contact any state or other country before planning any interstate shipment of animals.

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The Associated Press

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