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Category: State Agencies

New Maryland State Vet

On Thursday, Aprl 23, 2015, The Maryland Department of Agriculture announced that Secretary Joe Bartenfelder has promoted Maryland Department of Agriculture Field Veterinarian Michael Radebaugh, VMD to State Veterinarian, a position that was left vacant after the retirement of Dr. Guy Hohenhaus about a year ago. “The State Veterinarian is an extremely important and challenging position, responsible for safeguarding animal health and the economic security of our animal industries,” said Secretary Bartenfelder. “I am very pleased to appoint Dr. Radebaugh, who has a long and vast array of experiences in the field as well as an obvious dedication to Maryland agriculture.” Dr.  Radebaugh is the fourth out of the last five generations in his family to be working in agriculture. He has been a field veterinarian with MDA on the Eastern Shore and in Southern Maryland since 2011 where he was responsible for all regulatory, emergency and other service operations in the region.  He has also served as an advisor on poultry health and poultry regulatory programs, particularly avian influenza. Dr. Radebaugh has more than 41 years experience in the veterinary field, including 34 years as a large animal veterinarian. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s degree in Dairy Sciences and earned his VMD at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia. “I sincerely thank Dr. N. Jo Chapman, assistant chief of Animal...

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A Second Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1)

According to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, a horse that was at the same breeding facility as a Montgomery County horse that was recently diagnosed with the mutant neurotropic form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) has tested positive for EHV-1. This second horse, which is still at the breeding facility, had no symptoms and was diagnosed as the result of lab tests. Both EHV-1 positive horses are under care by private veterinarians and are in strict isolation, according to protocol. The Montgomery County horse had been at the breeding facility for more than two weeks before returning home on Monday. While at the breeding facility and during her first day home, she exhibited no signs of illness. On Tuesday, the horse began showing mild respiratory and neurological signs and was seen by a private veterinarian, who reported the suspected neurological illness to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), as is required by law. Laboratory tests conducted by MDA confirmed the diagnosis.  Following a Disease Investigation Protocol, MDA tested horses that were in close contact with the sick horse at the breeding facility. That investigation discovered the second positive horse. All horses that were exposed to the two positive horses are currently free of symptoms and are being monitored daily. All appear healthy. Both farms will remain under quarantine to ensure the virus is contained. As of today, MDA believes...

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Montgomery County Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpes Virus

 According to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, a horse stabled in Montgomery County has tested positive for the mutant neurotropic form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) and is being treated by a private veterinarian. The horse had been outside Montgomery County for breeding for more than two weeks before returning home on Monday. The horse began showing mild respiratory and neurological signs on Tuesday and was seen by a private veterinarian, who reported the suspected neurological illness to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), as is required by law. Laboratory tests conducted by MDA confirmed the diagnosis. The horse’s condition is improving. Other horses at the farm are now being tested as are horses that were in contact with the ill horse at the breeding facility. Those results will not be available until tomorrow. Both farms are presently under a 28-day investigational hold while MDA inspectors perform epidemiological and infectious disease testing. Stables near the one where the sick horse resides have been notified of the situation and owners cautioned to monitor horses at their premises carefully. MDA’s Animal Health Program is monitoring the situation closely. Owners should contact their private veterinarians to arrange for EVH testing if a horse exhibits significant temperature elevations or neurologic signs. Veterinarians are required to report equine neurologic syndrome to...

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EHV-1 found in VA Horses; no trace-back to any Maryland horses as of today

The Maryland Department of Agriculture is carefully monitoring several recent cases of EHV-1 in Virginia. Loudon County  According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), on Thursday, February 12, 2015, the department was notified of a horse in Loudoun County that tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), a neurological disease of horses caused by Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). On February 5 that horse exhibited a fever and was not eating or drinking. Even though it never showed neurological signs, the owner took the horse to the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC) in Leesburg. There they tested for and quickly diagnosed EHV-1. The horse is under quarantine there and is recovering. A second horse from the same farm exhibited a fever but no other signs. As a precaution, it is also under quarantine at the EMC and VDACS is running tests at its Regional Animal Health Laboratory in Warrenton. Dr. Richard Wilkes, State Veterinarian with VDACS, stressed that the horses were admitted directly into the isolation area at Marion duPont Scott. At no time were these horses in the general hospital area. The EMC is confident that their bio-security protocols will contain the virus to the isolation area. Thirty-three other horses from the same farm are under quarantine on the farm premises in Loudoun County. None of them have shown any signs of EHV-1, but...

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Hogan appoints Horsemen

Not surprisingly, Governor-elect Larry Hogan has been doing quite a bit of reorganizing, appointing all new cabinet secretaries. The appointments include two longtime horsemen: David Brinkley and Ken Holt. Hogan selected soon-to-be-former Senator David Brinkley (R – District 4) to serve as his Secretary of the Department Budget and Management. Equiery readers know David as a former B Pony Clubber who competed in 1973 and 1974 on the first and second Prince Philip Cup Games Teams representing the United States – winning the Cup the second time. In addition to being a member of the Frederick Pony Club, David grew up whipping-in for New Market Hounds Hunt Club, which was founded by his parents. In his adult life, in addition to maintaining a small horse farm, Brinkley has spent the last 20+ years in the General Assembly and was most recently the senate minority leader. He has served on both the budget and tax committee and the finance committee. According to the Washington Post, the Secretary of Budget and Management has been “one of Hogan’s most anticipated appointments, setting the budget and addressing a $750 million shortage will be among the most challenging hurdles of his first few months in office. Hogan has warned that cuts are coming and that he hopes to quickly offer Maryland residents some tax relief.” Meanwhile, Thoroughbred owner and breeder Ken Holt has been appointed Secretary...

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$30,000 awarded in grants to Maryland horse programs and projects

The Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) is awarding $30,000 in grants to 26 organizations that represent a cross section of equine groups and disciplines from various geographic areas of the state. The committee of five MHIB members selected projects from a pool of 47 applications. Funding for these grants and MHIB is provided by the Maryland Feed Fund, which collects $6 on every ton of horse feed sold in Maryland (or about 15¢ per bag). Since the fund was established in 2002, MHIB has awarded more than $350,000 in grants to more than 275 projects. The following organizations will be receiving grants: Fair Hill International, Inc. The Retreat at Beckleysville, Inc. Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival LEAD Maryland League of Maryland Horsemen The University of Maryland Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding, Inc. Freestate Riding Club Great & Small Happy Horse Healthy Planet, Inc. Greenwell Foundation Days End Farm Horse Rescue Brave HEART Program, Inc. Freedome Hills Therapeutic Riding Program Maryland Council for Equestrian Therapies The Big Purple Barn, Inc. Maryland Therapeutic Riding Frederick County $-H Therapeutic Riding Program Circle of HOpe Therapeutic Riding Maryland Equine Education Center Talbot Run Equestrian Center Maryland Equestrian Club Kiddy-Up, LLC Star Community, Inc. Glen Hollow Pony Club A full description of the projects receiving funding is available here.  “Horses are a critical component of Maryland’s agricultural industry. The Maryland Horse Industry Board and the Feed Fund do a...

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