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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)

A horse

Equine - Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA)

A disease outbreak can occur in and be spread by non-food animals such as horses. A high level of interstate movement can contribute to rapid disease spread across the country.

Equine viral arteritis (EVA) is an infectious viral disease of horses that causes a variety of symptoms, most significantly abortions. The disease is transmitted through both the respiratory and reproductive systems. EVA had been confirmed in a variety of horse breeds, with the highest infection rate found in adult Standardbreds. While it does not kill mature horses, EVA can eliminate an entire breeding season by causing numerous mares to abort.


  • An outbreak of EVA occurred at a New Mexico equine breeding facility in June 2006

Investigative Summary:

  • EVA rapidly spread to all 200 plus broodmares and 4 stallions on the premises
  • Due to the interstate movement of resident animals, 18 additional States were involved in the investigation
  • In one State alone, over 591 horses from 21 different premises were quarantined


  • The virus rapidly spread outside of New Mexico to additional States, increasing the risk of the disease status nationally

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