Virginia Takes Steps Against Foot-and-Mouth

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has banned horses from entering the state if they come directly or indirectly from countries where outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease have occurred.

The ban is in effect for temporary and permanent entry of horses. Last year, 69 permits were granted to allow horses to enter into the state. This year, 25 permits have been granted. The proclamation went into effect March 23 for an indefinite period.

Colorado is believed to be the first state to issue such a ban. It took effect March 15 and will be in place for six months after a country has been cleared of foot-and-mouth disease, which has hit Great Britain very hard.

The Virginia proclamation states: "Effective immediately, equines originating from a known (foot-and-mouth disease) country as designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will not be allowed to enter Virginia either by direct or indirect shipment."