Arizona Free and Clear

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has lifted their restrictions for horses from Arizona.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has completed their investigation of the Vesicular Stomatitis outbreak and lifted all quarantines at the beginning of July. Horses of American origin from the state of Arizona will again be allowed to enter Canada under the same import conditions as before the outbreak, and Canadian horses returning from Arizona will no longer have to satisfy any additional requirements related to this outbreak.

Current import requirements for equidae entering Canada may be found using the CFIA Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) at http://airs-sari.inspection.gc.ca. To determine specific import requirements for each horse, specific parameters that refer to each horse’s circumstances will need to be entered and customized import requirements will be provided.

Vesicular stomatitis is a disease that primarily affects cattle, horses and swine, and occasionally sheep and goats. Humans can be exposed to the virus when handling affected animals but rarely become infected. Vesicular stomatitis causes blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, and teats. These blisters swell and break, leaving raw tissue that is so painful that infected animals show signs of lameness and generally refuse to eat and drink which results in severe weight loss. There is risk of secondary infection of the open wounds. Animals usually recover within two weeks. While vesicular stomatitis can cause economic losses to livestock producers, it is a particularly important disease because its outward signs are similar to—although generally less severe than—those of foot-and-mouth disease, which horses are not susceptible to. The only way to distinguish among these diseases in livestock other than horses is through laboratory tests.

The mechanisms by which vesicular stomatitis spreads are not fully known; insect vectors, mechanical transmission, and movement of animals are probably responsible. Once introduced into a herd, the disease apparently moves from animal to animal by contact or exposure to saliva or fluid from ruptured lesions. Historically, outbreaks of vesicular stomatitis have occurred in southwestern United States during warm months and particularly along river ways. However, outbreaks are sporadic and unpredictable.   (Source: USDA)

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