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Animal Disease Risk

Disease surveillance, eradication, and control programs have achieved significant success over the years in reducing animal disease in the U.S. Yet animal disease remains a reality in the U.S. as illustrated in the following examples.

Click on each example to read how the inability to effectively trace diseased animals can have widespread consequences.

A cow

Cattle - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)

Group of cows

Cattle - Bovine Tuberculosis

A pig

Swine - Porcine Psuedorabies


Poultry - Exotic Newcastle Disease (END)

Traceability is advanced in the poultry industry due to the high number of commercial operations. This case study, however, illustrates how the participation of small producers is critical to controlling a disease outbreak.

Exotic Newcastle disease (END) is a highly contagious and fatal virus that affects all species of birds. END affects the respiratory, nervous, and digestive systems. Clinical signs include sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, muscular tremors, and circling.


  • An outbreak of END occurred in California from September 2002 - September 2003

Investigative Summary:

  • END outbreak was confirmed positive in Los Angeles County in a flock of backyard game fowl
  • Disease rapidly spread to exhibition and cockfighting flocks, eventually reaching commercial facilities
  • 19 counties were quarantined in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas
  • Nearly 4.5 million birds from over 2,700 infected premises were depopulated to contain the disease
  • Up to 1,600 animal health personnel were deployed to respond to the outbreak


  • Over 50 countries imposed some form of trade restriction against U.S. poultry exports
  • Outbreak caused an estimated $395 million loss in direct and indirect trade
  • Federal dollars allocated to the eradication effort estimated at $138.9 million

A horse

Equine - Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA)

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