The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and horse and livestock owners in that state have had a busy summer protecting livestock from diseases that affected this state’s largest agricultural sector: the animal industry.

"The collaboration between livestock producers, private practice veterinarians, our veterinary diagnostic laboratories and our Department were important in reducing the risks and mitigating the effects of livestock disease in our state," said CDA’s State Veterinarian Keith Roehr, DVM. "In … disease investigations, the timely and effective laboratory diagnostics at the Colorado State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory were vitally important."

To date in 2012, authorities have investigated the following equine-related disease outbreaks:

Anthrax: This investigation began in 2012. In all, approximately 55 cattle died due to an anthrax outbreak; four Logan County premises were quarantined and subsequently released after fulfilling disease control requirements. Although no horses in Colorado contracted the disease this year, owners in affected areas should be on the lookout, as the disease can prove fatal for equids. Anthrax can develop naturally in soil; the spores can become active in association with periods of marked climatic or ecologic change such as heavy rainfall, flooding or drought which can then expose the anthrax spores to grazing livestock. In these areas the spores apparently revert to the vegetative form and multiply to infectio