Updates on COVID-19 and new tick resources

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

March 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation. Some materials and events referenced in this newsletter could become outdated by the time you read it.

Visit www.mn.gov/bah/covid-19 for the most updated Minnesota-specific information.

COVID-19 and animals: what you need to know

Coronavirus image

To date, the CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. There is no evidence pets can spread COVID-19.

There is no reason to think that any animals in the U.S. might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. However, it is important to include pets in your family’s preparedness planning efforts including having a 2 week supply of pet food and pet medicines available.

COVID-19 is a global human-health concern at this time. Veterinarians’ first priority should be taking the routine precautions advised by the CDC to limit human-to-human transmission. There have been no reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the U.S. COVID-19 is not known to affect pets or livestock, nor is there evidence they can spread the virus to people or other pets.

Standard veterinary practices related to cleaning and disinfecting, including washing hands before and after contact with patients, effectively reduces risk of spreading viruses. Additionally, veterinarians should continue to follow their standard protocols for wearing personal protective equipment when necessary during exams or other procedures.

If clients have human health questions they can call the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-5414.

The CDC says the best way to prevent COVID-19 and other viruses from spreading is by following everyday preventative behaviors. Follow these three simple steps to reduce risk of transmission:

  1. Wash your hands frequently. Here’s a helpful CDC handwashing guide.
  2. Stay home when sick.
  3. Cover coughs and sneezes.

Keep reading...

Upcoming COVID-19 Webinar for ag producers

Agricultural producers, ranchers, farmers, farmworkers, veterinarians, and others who work in agriculture can tune into an upcoming webinar to learn the latest on COVID-19.

  • What Ag Producers need to know about COVID-19
  • April 2, 2020 - 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Register: www.agrisafe.org

The World Health Organization classified COVID-19 as a pandemic, and the virus is causing concern through all industries. This webinar is intended to share evidence-based information about COVID-19 and to help agricultural producers identify strategies for responding on their farm.

The webinar is free for AgriSafe members and $30 for non-members. Registration will take place in the AgriSafe Learning Lab. If you are not currently an AgriSafe member, you can still register after setting up a guest account.

The USDA announces action plan for ASF

The USDA recently made an announcement on its plans for ASF during the recent Pork Forum. Among those plans, the USDA will take the following actions if ASF is ever detected in the U.S.:

  • Declare an “extraordinary emergency” and ensure the availability of funding and additional resources necessary for the response.
  • Coordinate with state animal health officials on movement standstills.
  • Work with states and industry to utilize the most efficient and effective depopulation methods approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association that are appropriate for any affected premises.
  • Work proactively with industry and states to ensure producers have herd plans to deal with carcass disposal.
  • USDA plans to pay for virus elimination at a uniform, flat rate, based on the size of affected premises.

The USDA will continue to work with industry and state partners to keep ASF out of the U.S. You can find the latest information about these efforts on its website.

New tick resources

We have a new brochure on ticks and Minnesota's livestock and domestic animals. The brochure is available on our tick webpage under "Additional Information" on the right side.

This webpage and brochure are great resources for veterinarians and the general public to learn about ticks as a potential disease vector in Minnesota.

Next Quarterly Board Meeting - April 15

The next quarterly meeting of the Board of Animal Health will be held on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, at Minnesota Farm Bureau, 3080 Eagandale Place, Eagan, MN 55121.

Full meeting details and the latest agenda are available on our website.