New Mexico animal health authorities approved an emergency rule amendment Aug. 1 in response to the ongoing vesicular stomatitis outbreak in that state, according to a recent statement from the New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB). The current outbreak began in late April when two horses in Otero County tested positive for the disease.

"New Mexico is currently experiencing a significant outbreak of vesicular stomatitis (VS)," the amendment’s purpose reads. "To minimize the spread of the disease and to help avoid severe restrictions on future livestock movement, the following requirements and restrictions are being implemented. For livestock events held in New Mexico, the event coordinator is responsible for helping ensure livestock owners’ compliance with these and any other livestock movement requirements, as it applies to animals admitted onto the premises of the event and will go away in 90 days."

The full rule amendment can be viewed online. As of Aug. 10, the NMLB reports 12 active VS cases in the state.

A viral, foreign animal disease that occurs sporadically in the United States, VS usually appears in southwestern states. The disease, thought to be transmitted by sand flies and black flies, 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 can incubate for two to eight days before clinical signs appear. It is rarely fatal an