New Vesicular Stomatitis Virus cases confirmed in New Mexico horses

For immediate release
July 31, 2019
Media Contact:
Kristie Garcia, Public Information Officer,
New Mexico Department of Agriculture

New Vesicular Stomatitis Virus cases confirmed in New Mexico horses

(Albuquerque, New Mexico) – Horses in three additional New Mexico counties have tested positive for Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV). The United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced yesterday that Cibola County, San Miguel County and Sierra County have confirmed VSV positive premises. Other affected New Mexico counties include Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Taos and Valencia.

Other affected states include Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. Visit the USDA-APHIS website for the most current information on VSV cases:

The virus can affect horses, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, camelids (alpacas and llamas) and cervids (deer species). Symptoms may include oral lesions, oral blistering and drooling, but please refer to the USDA-APHIS website for more detailed information:

Please be sure to contact your veterinarian if you plan to travel from New Mexico to other states with horses or other livestock. This disease is reportable in New Mexico, meaning animal owners are required to notify USDA or the state veterinarian if your veterinarian suspects VSV.

If you suspect VSV, please contact the New Mexico State Veterinarian Dr. Ralph Zimmerman at 505-841-6161 or USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services at 505-313-8050.

As fair season approaches, the New Mexico Livestock Board has several recommendations as a result of confirmed VSV cases in New Mexico horses.

Zimmerman urges people to be diligent.

“While we are not ordering the cancellation of any events at this point, we recommend several advisable steps to keep animals safe,” said Zimmerman. “I encourage common sense decision making and overall awareness of the situation.”

Following is a list of recommendations for fair organizers, rodeo organizers and for individuals bringing animals to events:

  • Either an Extension agent, local veterinarian or a knowledgeable livestock person should be present at entry gates to check animals’ mouths for lesions (using fresh gloves for each animal)
  • Questionable animals should be sent home before they enter the grounds
  • The use of fly spray is encouraged
  • Do not handle other people’s animals
  • Avoid sharing grooming equipment
  • Use your own water buckets
  • If an animal breaks with Vesicular Stomatitis on the grounds, send them home immediately

At this point, state officials are not requiring a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection for intrastate travel.

– NMLB –