Species of Interest

Animal Disease/Food Safety

Laura Morrow
Laboratory Supervisor
(775) 353-3700

    Some of the links below are to forms and reports being made available as Adobe PDF files. Some of them may be interactive Adobe (pdf) file formats and can be downloaded as an electronic version to view on your computer, filled out and printed on your printer for mailing or faxing.  Those that are not interactive can be printed and filled out for mailing or faxing.


      High Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Dairy Cattle

      Guidance for Dairy Cattle Producers during H5N1 Outbreak

      Updated April 27, 2024


      Effective April 29, 2024, all lactating dairy cattle are required to test negative for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) prior to interstate movement, per the Federal Order from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Nonlactating dairy cattle, including heifers, dry cows and bull calves, are not currently subject to testing for interstate movement due to their risk profile. Lactating dairy cows consigned to a sale barn in Nevada for subsequent interstate movement to a slaughter facility do not require a negative test.

      Any positive detections of Influenza A must be reported to the NDA State Veterinarian at diseasereporting@agri.nv.gov and APHIS at HPAI.Results@usda.gov.

      As of April 27, 2024, detections of H5N1 in dairy cattle have not been reported in Nevada. This is an evolving situation, and requirements are subject to change with minimal notice. Please continue to monitor your email and the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) for up-to-date information.


      Dairy cattle traveling into Nevada
      The NDA has updated entry requirements in compliance with the USDA Federal Order. A negative test result for Influenza A virus from an approved National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) lab is required and must be documented on a Certificate of Veterinarian Inspection (CVI) for all lactating dairy cattle within seven (7) days prior to movement. Dairy producers should work with their veterinarian to arrange for testing prior to transport. Samples for testing must be collected by an accredited veterinarian. Nonlactating dairy cattle are not currently required to be tested for interstate movement.

      Nevada dairy cattle traveling out of state
      Per the USDA Federal Order, a negative test for Influenza A virus from an approved NAHLN lab is required for interstate travel for all lactating dairy cattle within seven (7) days prior to movement. Dairy producers should reference the updated entry guidelines for the state to which they are traveling and work with their veterinarian to arrange for testing prior to transport. Samples for testing must be collected by an accredited veterinarian.

      Cattle traveling direct to slaughter from the owner do not require testing.

      Recommendations for sale barns
      Per the USDA Federal Order, the USDA requires a negative test for Influenza A virus from an approved NAHLN lab for interstate travel of all lactating dairy cattle. Dairy producers should work with their veterinarian to arrange for testing prior to transport.
      Lactating dairy cows consigned to a sale barn in Nevada for subsequent interstate movement to a slaughter facility do not require a negative test. Cattle traveling direct to slaughter from the owner do not require testing.


      Per the Federal Order, lactating dairy cows must be tested for H5N1 prior to movement. If fewer than 30 cattle are moving, all cattle must be tested. If more than 30 are moving, then only 30 animals must be tested. Samples must be collected by an accredited veterinarian and submitted to a NAHLN Laboratory. Any positive detections of Influenza A must be reported to the NDA State Veterinarian at diseasereporting@agri.nv.gov and APHIS at HPAI.Results@usda.gov. More information on testing is available from USDA.

      Veterinary collection instructions
      Collect milk/udder secretions from individual cows. Ensure each quarter is sampled, as there have been reports of only one quarter having virus. Combine the milk from each quarter into one sample for submission to the laboratory. Submit between 3-10 ml of milk per animal.
      Note: NAHLN Laboratories may pool milk samples from up to 5 cows together; this can only be done in the laboratory.

      Samples can be dropped off at the NDA Animal Disease Lab in Sparks, Nev. for transfer to, or can be sent directly to one of the following NALHN Labs:

      • Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab (WADDL)
      • 1940 SE Olympia Ave

        Pullman, WA 99164

        Phone: (509) 335-9696

      • CAHFS Davis - University of California, Davis
      • 620 W. Health Sciences Drive

        Davis, CA 95616

        Phone: (530) 752-8700

      • Utah Veterinary Diagnostics Lab (UVDL)
      • 950 East 1400 North

        Logan, UT 84341

        Phone: (435) 797-1895

      Voluntary testing
      In addition to mandatory testing for interstate movement, producers and veterinarians may choose to conduct additional testing to manage HPAI suspect or affected herds to better protect their herds.

      If testing is performed at NAHLN laboratories, APHIS will support the testing costs provided they obtain a FAD number (for sick cattle) or include a premises ID and follow the testing guidance below. APHIS will reimburse for Influenza A testing at NAHLN laboratories associated with this event for the following submission reasons:

      • Suspect cattle
      • Apparently healthy cattle that have been exposed to or epidemiologically linked to suspect or confirmed positive HPAI cattle
      • Cattle from producers concerned their cattle may have HPAI
      • Sick or dead domestic animals near affected premises
      • Wildlife (reason for submission must indicate emerging event)
      • Monitoring of healthy cattle via bulk tank samples

      Costs for sample collection and shipping will not be covered.


      Suspected cases


      Contact your local veterinarian at the first sign of illness. Suspected cases should be reported to the NDA State Veterinarian at diseasereporting@agri.nv.gov.

      Signs of illness

      • Drop in feed intake
      • Marked drop in herd-level milk production
      • Thickened milk
      • No milk
      • Respiratory signs
      • Nasal discharge


      Any positive detections of Influenza A must be reported to the NDA State Veterinarian at diseasereporting@agri.nv.gov and USDA APHIS at HPAI.Results@usda.gov.

      As of April 26, 2024, detections of H5N1 in dairy cattle have not been reported in Nevada.


      Good health safety practices are important to protecting the herd health.

      • Monitor for Sick Animals: Producers should monitor herds closely for cattle with clinical signs of disease.
      • Movement of Cattle: Movement of cattle should be minimized; movement of cattle should be focused on preventing movement of disease.
      • Vehicles, Equipment, and People on the Farm: Producers should limit the movement of vehicles and visitors on and off livestock and poultry premises and establish dedicated routes for vehicles that do come onto the premises.
      • Wildlife Management: Producers should monitor and report any odd behaviors and die offs in domestic and wild animals immediately.
      • Worker safety: Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is recommended for personals working with or around cattle or materials potentially contaminated with H5N1. Avoid rubbing eyes, eating, drinking, smoking, chewing gum, and other such activities in and around areas with cattle. Wash hand regularly.

      The most up-to-date information on the H5N1 outbreak is available at www.aphis.usda.gov/livestock-poultry-disease/avian/avian-influenza/hpai-detections/livestock.

      For additional questions, please contact diseasereporting@agri.nv.gov.




        Vesicular Stomatitis Virus



        The last detection of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus was in White Pine County on July 28, 2023. The affected premises was placed under quarantine, and the quarantine was lifted on Aug. 8, 2023. 

        What is Vesicular Stomatitis Virus?

        Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is a viral disease that affects primarily horses and cattle and occasionally swine, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas. Humans that handle affected animals may become infected, but this is an uncommon occurrence.
        VSV is most commonly spread through biting flies and mosquitos, and animal-to-animal contact. Outbreaks usually occur during the warm summer months, particularly in animals pastured along waterways, but can occur anytime there is an influx and/or migration in the fly vector populations.

        Although VSV does not usually cause animal deaths, it can cause significant economic losses to livestock producers. In addition, the disease is of particular concern because its outward clinical signs are similar to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), a foreign animal disease eradicated from the U.S. in 1929. VSV cannot be diagnosed on clinical signs alone; sampling and laboratory testing is crucial to diagnose the vesicular condition and to differentiate it from other diseases, such as FMD or swine vesicular disease.

        Clinical signs

        Livestock infected with VSV usually show clinical signs 2-8 days after exposure to the virus. The first sign is usually excessive salivation due to vesicles (blister-like lesions) in the mouth. Vesicles may also be found on the nostrils, teats and around the hooves. Vesicles swell and break, exposing raw tissue, causing pain and discomfort. Animals may refuse to eat or drink and may show signs of lameness. Affected animals usually recover within two weeks.

        Disease spread

        The exact mechanism of spread is currently unknown but biting insects and animal-to-animal contact play a large role in the spread of the disease. An infected animal’s saliva and fluid from ruptured vesicles can contaminate feed, water, housing and other objects, further spreading the disease.

        Diagnosis and prevention

        There is no specific treatment or cure for animals infected with VSV and there are no vaccines available to prevent this disease. Veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal may have VSV or any other vesicular disease should immediately contact a State or Federal animal health authority.

        Testing for VSV antibodies in serum (blood) samples, and/or detection of VSV from swabs of lesions, blister fluid and tissue samples can confirm VSV viral infections. VSV diagnostic testing can only be performed by a state or federal veterinarian or USDA Accredited Veterinarian.

        It is important to protect animals with proper and diligent biosecurity measures. The following is an overview of ways to help protect horses and livestock:

        • Limit movement of animals from affected premises,
        • Apply insect control programs,
        • Separate animals with lesions from healthy animals,
        • Bring animals indoors at night to reduce their exposure to biting insects, and
        • Use individual animal equipment or disinfect equipment between use on each animal.

        Recommended biosecurity measures for equine events during a VSV outbreak in Nevada
        1. Participants, whenever possible, should arrive at the event with a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) issued within 2-5 days prior to the event. CVIs should include this statement: “I have examined all the animals identified on this certificate within 7 days of the shipment date and have found them to be free from signs of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). During the last 14 days, these animals have not been exposed to VSV nor located on a VSV-confirmed or a VSV-suspected premises.”
        2. At time of arrival and prior to entry onto the event grounds, all horses should be inspected by a USDA Category II Accredited Veterinarian for blister-like lesions in the mouth (tongue, lips), the nostrils, around the coronary band of the hooves, around the teats, and inner or outer ear.
        3. Immediately quarantine any horse with vesicular lesions and contact the Nevada Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian at diseasereporting@agri.nv.gov.
        4. Stable all horses from a known VSV-affected county in a separate stabling area.
        5. Horses from known VSV-affected counties should be observed daily for vesicular lesions and checked for elevated temperatures twice daily with documentation.
        6. Eliminate breeding grounds for VSV transmission vectors, specifically, the black fly, by daily removal of manure and elimination of standing water.
        7. Avoid use of communal water sources to the best extent possible. Every animal should have its own water bucket/receptacle, and communal hoses should never be in direct contact with the buckets/receptacles themselves.
        8. Utilize fly wipes, sprays, foggers and other repellents for use on animals and premises as directed by label instructions as frequently as indicated. Encourage use of pyrethrin fly spray labelled for horses, especially during peak black fly exposure: mid-morning and at dusk in the evening.
        9. Require exhibitors, owners and trainers to report any suspicious lesions to the show veterinarian or contact the secretary office immediately.
        10. Utilize disinfectant to disinfect communal areas and equipment. Effective disinfectants include 2% sodium carbonate, 4% sodium hydroxide, 2% iodophore disinfectants, chlorine dioxide disinfectants, ether and other organic solvents, and 1% formalin.
        11. Event veterinarians AND event management should regularly observe all susceptible livestock (equids, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, llamas, alpacas, camels) on event grounds for clinical signs of VSV during an event. Often, excess salivation is the first sign of disease. Any VSV suspects should be immediately isolated.
        12. At the end of the event, obtain destination information for all departing horses, as well as email contact information for the person responsible for the care of the horse(s) to ensure they can be contacted and receive guidance if a disease detection occurs.
        13. Equine events without a veterinarian in attendance and inspection of all horses prior to entry into the equine event facility are not recommended during a VSV outbreak and should be held only at the risk and discretion of event management.

        Click here for VSV guidelines for shows and fairs


        Interstate and international movement restrictions

        Receiving states and countries often impose additional requirements or restrictions for susceptible animals originating from VSV-affected states. Verify all entry requirements with the destination state or country PRIOR to any out-of-state movement. A shortened inspection period (often 7 days but occasionally as short as 24 hours) is usually required in addition to a specific inspection statement from the inspecting veterinarian as dictated by the receiving state or country.


          Equine Infectious Anemia

          Equine infectious Anemia (EIA) is a viral disease transmitted through blood contact in equine species, including horses, donkeys and mules, that can cause fever, weakness, swelling, irregular heartbeat and low red blood cell count. Common sources of transmission are blood-feeding insects such as flies, or with the reuse of infected needles and other contaminated medical, dental or tattoo equipment. It cannot be spread through coughs, sneezes or casual contact. It cannot be transmitted to humans and is not a public health risk.

          Horses suspected to be ill should be reported to their veterinarian for appropriate care. Infected horses may not show symptoms but remain carriers for life, making routine testing key to prevention of spread of this disease. This is a reportable disease, meaning when veterinarians diagnose it, they are required to notify the NDA, per NRS 571.160. The NDA website includes a list of reportable diseases.

          There is no known treatment for EIA. Infected horses are lifelong carriers of the virus and can potentially infect other horses. Routine testing is important to preventing the potential spread of disease. Management choices for EIA positive horses include either euthanasia or lifelong quarantine with permanent isolation that includes being at least 200 yards from any other horses.

          Prevention and control of EIA

          Horse owners are urged to practice good horse health safety measures to reduce chances of an infectious disease being transferred, and get as much background information as possible before purchasing horses. Basic practices include:

          • Single-use medical equipment such as needles, syringes, and IV lines should never be re-used, and should never be shared between different horses. Dental tools and other instruments should be fully sterilized between horses.
          • Practice good fly control by keeping stalls dry, removing standing water, managing manure, and using fly deterrents and repellants.
          • Horses should have a routine testing schedule for EIA and should be tested prior to attending events.
          • Test horses at the time of purchase examination. Work with a veterinarian on a quarantine and/or retesting protocol prior to introducing a new horse to current horses. Before purchasing, get as much background information on the horse including any domestic or international travel or importation.
          • Any horses entering the U.S. from other countries require testing and quarantine prior to entry.

          Equine species are required to have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and a negative EIA (Coggin’s) test within 12 months prior to entry as part of Nevada's entry requirements. Negative EIA tests are required for movement between all states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture lists EIA requirements for importation into the U.S.


          As of Aug. 3, 2022, a detection of EIA was confirmed in a horse at a facility in Clark County during routine testing. A quarantine has been issued for the facility and all horses on the premises will undergo testing to prevent potential spread of the disease.

          Horses that attended an event in Washoe County within the month of June 2022 are also encouraged to test.

          View the Equine Infectious Anemia Quarantine FAQ for additional information. 

          Resources and helpful links

          Equine Herpes Virus (EHV)


          Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

          Avian influenzais a disease caused by viruses that can infect poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese, and guinea fowl) and wild birds. Avian influenza is further categorized based on the ability of the virus to produce disease in domestic poultry:

          • Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus strains are extremely infectious, often fatal to poultry, and can spread rapidly. HPAI can circulate freely in wild birds without sign of illness and infect domestic poultry causing severe and fatal illness. Some species of wild birds, such as raptors, also experience high mortality rates.
          • Low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) virus strains occur naturally in wild migratory waterfowl and shorebirds without causing illness. LPAI can infect domestic poultry, creating little or no signs of illness.


          HPAI detections

          The current HPAI strain has been detected in both wild birds and commercial and backyard flocks in the U.S. As of April 21, 2022, HPAI has not been detected in Nevada, however detections have been made in neighboring states of Idaho and Utah.


          Any birds found to be sick should be immediately quarantined and reported to the USDA at (866) 536-7593 or the NDA by emailing NDA State Veterinarian at pmundschenk@agri.nv.gov.


          Three or more wild bird mortalities should be reported to the Nevada Department of Wildlife at (775) 688-1500 or nate.lahue@ndow.org.


          Biosecurity recommendations

          • Wash hands before and after coming in contact with birds.
          • Limit the number of people that come into contact with your flock to those necessary for their care.
          • Use personal protective equipment such as shoe covers, gloves, hair and clothing covers.
          • Clean and disinfect equipment before and after each use.
          • Do not share tools or supplies between flocks.
          • Flocks should be housed in enclosures that prevent any exposure to wild birds or waterfowl, such as barns or similar covered, secure areas.
          • Avoid attracting wild birds and waterfowl by securing feed and not using wild bird feeders on or near the premises.
          • Quarantine new birds or birds returning to the flock for 30 days before (re)introduction.
          • Quarantine sick birds immediately and report to the USDA at (866) 536-7593 or the NDA State Veterinarian at pmundschenk@agri.nv.gov.

          Read more about biosecurity practices to protect against HPAI at USDA Defend the Flock.


          Human health and safety

          According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these avian influenza detections do not present an immediate public health concern. As of April 21, 2022, no human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the U.S.


          Consumers are still encouraged to practice proper food safety handling, including washing hands before and after handling poultry or eggs, and cooking them to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F to kill bacteria and viruses.