Protect animals and each other with safer FACEs

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

February 2018

Keep people healthy when they visit farm animals

Safer FACEs artwork

The Zoonotic Diseases Unit at MDH has developed a training program designed for owners/operators of venues where the public can have contact with animals. The program is called Safer Farm Animal Contact Exhibits (Safer FACEs). Its goal is to help owners/operators understand the potential risks of illness or injury from animals, and the best practices for their venue to keep visitors healthy.

Safer FACEs is important for owners, operators and staff of venues such as county fairs, petting zoos, orchards, pumpkin patches, other agritourism venues, and farms that host the public for field trips/events. You can learn about it from the MDH website by clicking this link.

Veterinarians who want a refresher on the issue of zoonotic diseases from animal contact exhibits can take the training and learn about solutions that reduce risk while maintaining the fun of visiting animals. Click this link to email the MDH.

More stories and updates...

Antibiotic lecture series background image

Antibiotic Resistance lecture series

Veterinarians and anyone interested in antibiotic resistance are invited to attend, or view a webcast of, a lecture series at the University of Minnesota on Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

Hear from Professor H. Morgan Scott, DVM, PhD, from Texas A&M University at the Mississippi Room in Coffman Union on the East Bank. The presentation is titled, "Antimicrobials in Agriculture and Food Production: Use, Overuse and Misuse." It begins at 11:30 a.m. and should wrap up by 1 p.m.

The lecture is also being webcast, and you can register by clicking on this link. Plus, continuing education credits are available!

A second lecture in the series will focus on policy challenges and solutions. This event will be in the same location at the same time on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Click the link above to register.

Avoid the flu, your animals and others will thank you!

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, the CDC recommends you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If no tissue is available, sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Many more tips are available from the CDC. Click this link to get more flu prevention tips.

USDA form VS 10-4 gets an electronic update

The USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) has launched an electronic VS 10-4 (general submission form). A submitter may easily acquire a Level 1 eAuthentication username and password to access the National Centers for Animal Health (NCAH) portal for electronic submission. The NCAH portal offers some key timesaving features for NVSL customers. Input data from submitters and owners may be quickly cloned from prior submissions, stored, and selected to populate fields in an instant by using a personalized address book after a first submission.

For additional information or to sign up for an account please click this link.

Electronic submissions are easy for NVSL customers, save time for submitters, and ensures that NVSL delivers programs as efficiently and effectively as possible. The electronic VS 10-4 form also uses dynamic lists and reusable data for fillable fields. Owners/submitters may add delegates to their accounts to submit on their behalf. Past submissions and associated final reports may also be accessed and viewed in the NCAH Portal for up to a year after completion.

The online form will not replace the fillable PDF version of the VS 10-4 form. The original form is still available for use where internet connectivity is not available or in those instances where a paper copy is preferred.

Chronic wasting disease sampling guide available online

Cervid producers have a new tool to guide them through how to collect and submit samples for CWD testing. The Board and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory coordinated to create a best-practices guide for producers to take their own samples successfully. Click this link to view the guide, and email with any questions about the program.

Continuing education opportunities coming up

The USDA is going to be offering National Veterinary Accreditation Program training modules in the coming months. These modules qualify for continuing education credits for Minnesota veterinarians. Check back in next month's newsletter for details!