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Tenn. Increases Quarantine To Prevent Foot And Mouth Disease by Kevin DeBusk While other states keep an eye on the Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) situation Tennessee is stepping up its efforts to keep an outbreak of this very contagious disease from occurring. Currently, Australia, Antarctica and North America are the only locations the disease has not been reported. Tennessee has added an additional quarantine for horses and or materials accompanying the animals. By USDA regulation horses are detained at the port usually five days and then cleared. Tennessee is adding additional time to the quarantine based on information received about the horse and the surroundings it came from. This information will include where the closest cloven-hoofed animals were in proximity to the horses. USDA regulations require horses entering the country from a FMD country to poses clean hooves, be free from dirt and debris and be wiped down or sprayed with a vinegar solution or 6.5 ounces of concentrated glacial acetic acid in one gallon of water. Additionally, all tack must be disinfected and those coming in contact with these horses must have their clothing dry-cleaned and footwear cleaned. Though FMD doesn't effect horses it can be transmitted to cloven-hoofed animals through horses, tack and humans. "As a precaution to the heightened situation in the United Kingdom and other countries, we've taken steps to strengthen our rules to help keep the disease out," said State of Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Dan Wheeler April 4. "While there is no threat to humans from FMD, the spread of the disease domestically could cost Tennessee farmers millions of dollars." "We can't be to careful with the economic impact this could have," said State of Tennessee Veterinarian Ron Wilson. "This is a risk management procedure. We want to supplement the USDA compliance for horses entering the United States and be assured horses entering Tennessee are free of organic materials and that tack has been cleaned. We are looking at ten days of quarantining. Any virus should have died at that point." That is five longer than what USDA requires. "We are calling the port of entries and letting them know of our requirements," Wilson reported. "We will be implementing this additional quarantine at the farm." He added if cloven-hoofed animals were in close proximity to the farm horses could be detained at the port for that additional time period. Horses entering Tennessee will also be required to go through a third cleaning period. "We will be using acetic acid," he said. "Our staff will be inspecting the horses and if they have proof of cleaning before leaving the country of origin and at the port of call they may receive a waver on the third cleaning. "We've been working to provide information to veterinarians, animal health technicians and the livestock industry about symptoms of the disease and encourage them to report any suspicious signs." He says he is also visiting with immigration officials about what to ask and how to handle people and tack coming into the country from FMD countries. Animals with the virus will display signs of blister and sores around the mouth, feet and udder areas. They may have a high temperature, loss of appetite, exhibit signs of lameness and drool.
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