Kentucky Lifts Ban on Animals Shipped From Texas

Kentucky has lifted a ban on animals from Texas now that the state is free of vesicular stomatitis. In the summer, the situation led Breeders' Cup officials to take precautions in advance of the Oct. 30 World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park.

Livestock and wild and exotic animals from western and southern Texas had been prohibited from entering the state after VS was identified in that region in May. Texas no longer has any active cases of the disease, according to Kentucky state veterinarian Robert Stout.

"Kentucky's system for protecting our animals from disease worked very well in this case," Agriculture Commmissioner Richie Farmer said.

Farmer banned all animals from Texas from entering Kentucky after the disease was discovered as required by state regulations that existed at the time. Gov. Ernie Fletcher later issued an emergency regulation that banned animals from the affected region of Texas but allowed those from the rest of the state to enter Kentucky.

Kentucky's ban on animals from Colorado and New Mexico remains in place. Stout said those states still have VS infestations. Animals from states that border Colorado and New Mexico must be examined during the five-day period prior to arrival in Kentucky, and they must be certified as having not originated from a premises or area under quarantine for VS or a state in which the disease has been diagnosed within the previous 30 days.

Horses from states that border Colorado and New Mexico must have a negative VS test from a sample taken no more than 10 days before the animal enters Kentucky.

VS is a viral disease that occurs sporadically in the U.S., usually in southwestern states. The disease 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. It is rarely fatal and usually lasts about two weeks.