Dog import ban announced, plus the threat of a parasitic worm to your herd

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

June 2021

Dog import ban on countries with high-risk of rabies

Map of world.

The CDC recently announced it will temporarily ban dog imports from countries with high-risk for dog rabies. The ban is effective July 14, 2021. The ban includes dogs arriving from countries NOT at high-risk if the dogs have been in a high-risk country during the previous 6 months. The suspension doesn't affect individuals importing dogs from countries with low-risk or no-known risk for dog rabies, or U.S. citizens and lawful residents returning with pets (provided all exemption requirements are met).

This suspension is part of the CDC's efforts to protect both animal and human health from the rabies virus. Raccoon, bat, fox, skunk and mongoose rabies are prevalent in the U.S., but the CDC declared dog rabies eliminated from the U.S. in 2007. Globally, rabies is one of the deadliest zoonotic diseases and accounts for an estimated 59,000 human deaths annually. Dog rabies is responsible for 99-percent of these deaths.

The CDC will have a permitting process in place for people to apply to import dogs from the banned countries. However, the permits will be extremely limited and applications will need to be submitted to the CDC at least six weeks before the anticipated date of travel.

This suspension applies to all dogs, including puppies, emotional support dogs, and dogs that traveled out of the U.S. and are returning from a high-risk country. The suspension is temporary and will be reviewed periodically.

Read the full notice on the CDC website.

Keep reading...

Meningeal worm and your herd

Meningeal worm is a parasitic worm that lives and reproduces in white-tailed deer. Deer are rarely bothered by the parasite, because in deer it is primarily lives in the lining of the brain. However, it can be serious and potentially fatal in other animals like goats, sheep, alpacas, or llamas. Rather than staying in one particular area and reproducing like adult worms do in white-tailed deer, in other animals the worms travel around, potentially wandering through the brain and spinal cord. This can cause neurological problems such as lameness (particularly in the hind limbs), difficulty rising, circling, paralysis, and potentially death. Meningeal worm has a complex life cycle, and becomes infectious to livestock when livestock accidentally eat an infected slug or snail. 

A research group at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine is interested in hearing from you (goat owners) about your experience with meningeal worm infections in goats in the Midwest region. They're are also interested in any strategies goat owners are using to reduce the risk of meningeal worm infection.

If you own goats, and live in either Minnesota or Wisconsin, you can help by completing a short, online survey to share your goat care methods and meningeal worm history.

The survey can be accessed by following this link. Please take the survey by July 15, 2021. Contact Katherine Marchetto with any questions.

Backyard Poultry Owners can earn $60 from CDC focus groups

The CDC is looking for backyard poultry owners to participate in online focus groups. The CDC will hold online discussion groups to learn how to best share health information with people who own backyard poultry. The online discussion groups will take place on Zoom in June and July and last about 90 minutes. Participants will receive a $60 incentive (check or Amazon e-gift card) after the discussion groups.

If you or anyone you know owns backyard poultry and is interested in participating in one of the discussion groups, please complete this survey. If you are selected, someone from third-party contractor, Westat, will contact you regarding scheduling. Westat is a private company hired by CDC to conduct the discussion groups.

Questions? Contact Lauren Gollarza or Erika Reed-Gross.

Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report

Food animal veterinarians are critical to a healthy, secure, and safe food supply. Today, there is a critical shortage of food animal veterinarians in both private and public practice, particularly in rural communities. The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) provides approximately $7.6 million per year in funding to help eligible veterinarians offset a significant portion veterinary medical degree debt in return for their service in certain high-priority veterinary shortage situations.

NIFA published the VMLRP FY 2020 annual report, which provides a detailed review of the program, applicant and awardee statistics, DVM programs with funded alumni, shortage areas awarded, and a statement regarding the impact of COVID-19.

Special Board Meeting

The Board of Animal Health is organizing a Special Board Meeting next month to review the current rules drafts from the farmed cervid rulemaking process. Please check back in the July edition of Animal Bytes for final meeting details.