Lessons Learned From Recent Equine Disease Outbreaks

Cases of CEM, EHV-1, and more have taught officials how to best prevent and respond to outbreaks.
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Have you ever wondered if the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Veterinary Services plays any role in your horse’s health? Likely you’ve never given it a thought.

But at the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida, Angela Pelzel-McCluskey, DVM, explained that APHIS plays a substantial role in preventing the spread of certain high-risk diseases and coordinating a response to outbreaks.

Pelzel-McCluskey, equine epidemiologist for APHIS Veterinary Services, said the local veterinarian is the first line of defense in animal health, followed by the state animal health office. But when a disease isn’t just a local or statewide event, the federal agency coordinates a response and provides resources and support to the state response.

She said APHIS also attempts to prevent diseases from entering the United States through animal import restrictions and it is responsible for the approval of vaccines and biologics that might be used in a disease response

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Written by:

Maureen Gallatin is a freelance writer, founder of Horses on a Mission, and author of the inspirational devotional, An Extra Flake.

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