Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey last week encouraged horse owners to protect their animals from the West Nile virus by making sure their horses are vaccinated and that the vaccination is up to date. The first year of vaccination requires two vaccinations to be protective for horses and then annual boosters in following years. "As we enter mosquito season it is important for horse owners to vaccinate their animals so that they are protected from West Nile virus," Northey says. "I encourage owners to talk to their veterinarian about vaccination and make sure all their animals' vaccinations are up to date."
In 2012 Iowa had 36 confirmed West Nile virus cases in horses last year and in most cases the animals had not had any vaccinations and in a few of these cases only had their first dose of vaccine. Iowa had only one confirmed case in a horse in 2011.
Horse owners are encouraged to vaccinate their animals against West Nile virus
West Nile virus has been in the U.S. since 1999, and while it is primarily a disease of birds it can infect horses, dogs, humans, and several other animal species. It is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Most animals and humans do not show clinical signs of being infected, but horses may develop a brain infection with signs such as lethargy, weakness, incoordination/staggering, paralysis or even death.
Horse owners are encouraged to contact their veterinarian for more information and to discuss vaccination and other preventative measures, such as mosquito control.
Iowa Department of Agriculture revokes permit for Meinders Farm Fresh Dairy
In other news last week, the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship has revoked the dairy plant permit for Meinders Farm Fresh Dairy in Buffalo Center and an Iowa administrative law judge has ruled in the department's favor and approved the license revocation.