Horses have tested positive for vesicular stomatitis (VS) in Weld County, Colorado on July 17, 2014. Vesicular Stomatitis is a reportable disease as per the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), meaning that horse owners must immediately report the presence of any horse suspected of being affected by the disease. The disease causes blister-like lesions to be formed on the inside of the mouth, nose and hooves, alongside flu like symptoms and anorexia.
The affected horses in Colorado have no history of travel. The facility was quarantined following the diagnosis. Cases have also been identified in the state of Texas in 2014. No cases have been suspected in Canada.
As a result of the outbreaks in Colorado, the CFIA has issued the following amendments to import and export policies for horses travelling from the United States to Canada effective immediately until further notice. Please note that VS related import restrictions are still in effect for horses from Texas.
A) The importation of horses from the State of Colorado (CO) for all end-uses is prohibited effective July 22, 2014 (except for Canadian horses returning from CO or TX — please see below).
B) For horses coming from the US, for all end-uses, from all other states, the following requirement applies:
During the previous twenty-one (21) days, the animal(s) in this shipment has/have not been in the state of Texas or Colorado.
For Colorado horses that are accompanied by a US health certificate issued before July 22, 2014:
For Colorado horses that are accompanied by a US health certificate issued before July 22, 2014, the CFIA port of entry veterinarian will undertake a clinical exam of the animals with the additional consideration of VS and determine whether they should be allowed to enter Canada.
For Canadian horses returning to Canada only:
Canadian horses will be able to enter Canada after a stay in Colorado with an import permit, testing and the following additional certification:
The animal(s) were inspected by a veterinarian within fifteen (15) days preceding the date of importation.
The animals(s) have not been on a premises where Vesicular Stomatitis (clinical or serology) has occurred during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation to Canada, nor has this disease occurred on any adjoining premises during the same period of time.
The animals must have tested negative to Vesicular Stomatitis using a cELISA test, during the fifteen (15) days prior to the date of importation into Canada.
The alternative option for Canadian horses returning is that they be moved to another state, stay there for at least 21 days and meet the following requirement:
During the previous twenty-one (21) days, the animal(s) in this shipment has/have not been in the States of Texas or Colorado.
For Canadian Horses going to and returning from the US:
Horse owners should be advised of the current outbreak in Colorado and it should be recommended that they avoid going to this state.
Import conditions in AIRS have been adjusted accordingly.
Further information on vesicular stomatitis, its clinical signs and transmission can be found on the CFIA Vesicular Stomatitis Fact Sheet.