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Category: State Agencies

First 2015 West Niles confirmation in Maryland

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced today, August 10, the first detection of a West Nile virus (WNV) mosquito pool in Maryland in 2015.  On August 5, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) confirmed the presence of WNV in mosquitoes collected by MDA personnel in the City of Bowie (Prince George’s County).  ULV spraying to control adult mosquitoes in that section of Bowie occurred the night following trapping.  MDA mosquito control personnel continue to work aggressively to reduce mosquito populations in this community and across the State. “We know that West Nile virus may be present throughout Maryland. It typically appears at this time in the summer, so we are not surprised with this positive finding,” says Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder. “The confirmation of virus-positive mosquitoes serves as a reminder to all residents to continue protecting themselves against mosquito bites and to conduct backyard mosquito control activities in addition to MDA’s routine surveillance and spray activities.” The MDA Mosquito Control Office, in cooperation with DHMH, has been conducting surveillance activities throughout the State to collect and test mosquitoes for WNV, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and several other mosquito-borne diseases. These diseases are endemic in Maryland and are transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. Approximately 20 percent of people infected with WNV will develop West Nile fever, which is typically characterized by fever, headache,...

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Time to do your grant applications!

Over $350,000 has been distributed since the Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB),a program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture, launched the program in 2002 – and now it is time for another round of funding! MHIB will begin accepting grant applications on Aug. 2 for research, educational and promotional projects that support horses or the equestrian community, or develop new opportunities for the Maryland horse industry. Application deadline is Oct. 2. Among the organizations eligible for MHIB grants are non-profit organizations, clubs and associations, businesses, farms and stables, government entities, schools and educational institutions. Projects of interest to the Board include (but are not limited to) those that develop new opportunities for the Maryland horse industry. Projects will be evaluated for their value to the industry, degree of industry promotion, size and scope of activity, financial need, potential for matching funds, benefits and quality of the written presentation. Grant requests should not exceed $3,000. The average grant amount is about $1,200. In 2015, 28 projects received $30,000 in grant allocations. Grant recipients will be announced no later than January 1, 2016. Funding will be available after that date. Projects should be completed by June 30, 2016. Funding for these grants and for MHIB is provided by the Maryland Feed Fund, which collects $6 on every ton of horse feed sold in Maryland. Since the feed fund was established in...

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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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