New Mexico animal health officials have identified several more cases of the viral disease vesicular stomatitis (VS) and have placed at least nine premises under quarantine, according to a June 18 notice to horse owners from the New Mexico Livestock Board.

The additional disease confirmations come after two Otero County, N.M., horses tested positive for the disease on April 30.

The notice indicates that the disease has been either identified or suspected in horses in Valencia, southwest San Miguel, and northern Socorro Counties.

"Because the disease has a tendency to appear along the path of waterways such as rivers and streams, we consider the counties along the Rio Grande to have elevated risk of the development of positive cases, based on the historical patterns of disease movement in prior year outbreaks," the notice read.

In a June 20 statement, State Veterinarian Dave E. Fly, DVM, announced that the state’s Livestock Board had implemented movement restrictions in response to the numerous confirmed or suspected VS cases. The full list of restrictions is available online. In the statement Fly said the restrictions "will remain in effect until New Mexico is declared free of vesicular stomatitis."

In the June 18 notice, the Livestock Board gave the following recommendations to horse owners:

  • Use insect repellant products (sprays, eartags,