1. New Bolton Center Patient Tests Positive for Neurologic Equine Herpesvirus [PA]
At horse at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center tested positive for neurologic equine herpesvirus.
By Kimberly S. Brown
May 18, 2022

On May 18, the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square confirmed one of its equine patients tested positive for equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM, the neurologic form of equine herpesvirus type 1 or EHV-1).

The horse, which exhibited neurologic signs, was at the university's Moran Facility, a critical care center designed to prevent infectious disease spread between patients. The horse remains isolated in quarantine, and no other cases have been identified.

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture officials stated that the potential for other equine patients at New Bolton Center to be exposed was extremely unlikely. Therefore, the large animal hospital remains open and fully functional.

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2. Equine Piroplasmosis: Is Your Horse at Risk?
Certain groups of U.S. horses are at risk of acquiring this blood- and tick-borne foreign animal disease. Learn more in this article from the May 2022 issue of The Horse.
Posted by Angela Pelzel-McCluskey, DVM
May 19, 2022

Equine piroplasmosis (EP) is a blood- or tick-borne disease caused by blood parasites Theileria equi or Babesia caballi. Clinical signs in the acute phase of infection can include fever, inappetence, depression, elevated respiratory and heart rates, colic, anemia, and sudden death. If the horse survives acute disease, he becomes a chronic carrier of the parasite and can serve as a lifelong transmission risk to other horses. Clinical signs in a chronically infected horse can include anemia, weight loss, and reduced performance, but most chronic carriers appear outwardly normal.

While EP is considered endemic in many countries, and certain tick species around the world can actively transmit T. equi or B. caballi while feeding on horses, the U.S. mainland is currently free of natural tick-borne transmission of EP, and the disease is officially classified as a foreign animal disease. Equids imported to the U.S. from other countries must test negative for both T. equi and B. caballi at entry to prevent incursion of the disease. Veterinarians who suspect EP in a horse are required to report the possible case to state and federal animal health officials.

Full text: https://thehorse.com/1111613/equine-piroplasmosis-is-your-horse-at-risk/

3. Prohibition of sale, exhibiting poultry extended by Dept. of Agriculture [IL]
Extension to prevent spread of bird flu
By Scott Nunn, Hearst Midwest
The Telegraph
May 20, 2022

In an attempt to slow the spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza, the Illinois Department of Agriculture extended its emergency rule prohibiting the sale or exhibiting of poultry.

The rule was originally put in place April 5, when the IDOA enacted the rules prohibiting the sale or exhibiting of poultry and poultry products at swap meets, exhibitions, flea markets, and auction markets across Illinois to prevent the spread of avian influenza.

"Protecting animal health in the state of Illinois remains our number one priority," Dr. Mark Ernst, IDOA State Veterinarian in the April 5 release, said. "We are optimistic that as the migratory bird season comes to an end, we will see a decrease in exposure for our flocks here in Illinois and our neighboring states, and be able to resume our poultry exhibitions and sales. Until that time, it is essential that we take every step possible to protect poultry flocks in Illinois."
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States across the country have seen a flurry of new HPAI cases. The IDOA website reports four cases in backyard producer flocks that have occurred in McLean, Carroll, Kane and most recently Boone counties.

Full text: https://www.thetelegraph.com/news/article/Prohibition-of-sale-exhibiting-poultry-extended-17187058.php

4. Import Alert: Release of HPAI Restrictions on Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Chiba, Saitama, Hiroshima, and Ehime Prefectures in Japan
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Bulletin
May 20, 2022

Issuance Date: May 20, 2022

Effective date: May 20, 2022

Effective May 20, 2022, and until further notice, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services (VS) is removing restrictions on the importation of poultry, commercial birds, ratites, avian hatching eggs, unprocessed avian products and byproducts, and certain fresh poultry products from Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Chiba, Saitama, Hiroshima, and Ehime Prefectures in Japan.

Full text: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAAPHIS/bulletins/318bee4

5. University of Vermont launches foreign animal disease survey
The survey will gather behavioural attitudes to biosecurity
The Pig Site
May 12, 2022

The University of Vermont is inviting US livestock farmers to participate in a national-level survey on transboundary animal disease prevention, to gather behavioural attitudes that drive the adoption of biosecurity at the farm level.
[See: https://qualtrics.uvm.edu/jfe/form/SV_6ExXkJNwOii9jYG ]

The livestock industry is vulnerable to threats of an infectious outbreak of diseases, such as the foot-and-mouth disease and the African swine fever. These diseases are a national and international threat to animal farming and have dire economic consequences. Decision making and human behaviour at the farm level are at the heart of disease prevention, management and control, a University of Vermont press release stated.

The survey takes around 15 minutes.

Source: https://www.thepigsite.com/news/2022/05/university-of-vermont-launches-foreign-animal-disease-survey

6. Nepal reports first deadly African swine fever outbreak
934 pigs have died so far from the highly contagious virus in the Kathmandu valley, according to a report.
By Arjun Poudel
Kathmandu Post
May 19, 2022

Nepal reported its first cases of African swine fever in pigs, the World Organization for Animal Health said on Thursday.

The fever has so far killed 934 pigs in six municipalities in Kathmandu Valley.

The Paris-based organisation that has a mandate to improve animal health and welfare throughout the world, said on its website that Nepal has 1,426 susceptible and 1,364 active cases of the African swine fever as of Thursday evening.

In Kathmandu, outbreaks have been reported in Kageshwari Manohara-6, Dakshinkali Municipality, Kirtipur Municipality-4 and 5, and Tokha Municipality.

Full text: https://tkpo.st/3NnR8R0

7. Avian Flu is Not a Hoax Says State Board of Animal Health [IN]
May 19, 2022

The H5 avian flu made it's way to Indiana in February, but it's proven itself a grave problem across the country. But in the months since the flu was discovered, some people believe it's all a giant conspiracy theory.

"The main thing I can say about this whole idea is wow, just wow," says Denise Spears, Public Info Director with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

Some people have spread their theories online to social media web sites like Reddit and Facebook. There are claims that the flu is genetically manufactured COVID-19 for chickens, a result of 5G cell towers, or simply a hoax. But it's very real for farmers and hobby flock owners, says Spears.

"This situation is very serious, it's very real," Spears continues, "especially for eleven Indiana families. Two families have lost their backyard hobby flocks, but the other nine have actually lost their livelihood."

There are also online claims that the birds are tested using PCR tests, and that is reason enough for this being a hoax illness.

That's not the case, says Spears, "PCR test is a standardized test that's used for many, many different types of diagnosis, not just for flu diagnosis. It is something that's used in this situation. It looks for DNA fragments that [indicate] there's been exposure. It's a standardized test that's used for many things, and that's not a reason to doubt that we actually have flu diagnosis."

Full text: https://www.wibc.com/featured-stories/avian-flu-is-not-a-hoax-says-state-board-of-animal-health/