by DAVE PINK
Horses from the American state of New Mexico are, effectively immediately, no longer welcome in Canada.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) made the ruling this week after of an outbreak of vesicular stomatitis among horses in New Mexico. Because the disease can spread to other animals such as cattle, sheep and swine the agency decided it couldn’t take the risk of allowing any suspected carriers of the disease into Canada.
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that can affect horses, livestock and other animals such as deer and llamas, according to a CFIA news release. It can also cause influenza-like symptoms in people who come into contact with infected animals. Protective clothing should be worn when handling suspect animals to help prevent exposure to the virus.
Canada is currently free of vesicular stomatitis. It was last diagnosed in Canada in 1949.
The CFIA fears that an outbreak of vesicular stomatitis in Canada could result in a loss of markets for live animals, meat and animal genetics.
While horses originating from the state of New Mexico will not be permitted to enter Canada, Canadian horses returning from New Mexico will be allowed entry into Canada if some additional import requirements are met. In addition, all horses entering Canada from the United States must be accompanied by official U.S. documents certifying that they have not been in New Mexico within the previous 21 days. BF