HPAI in Mexico

For those of you involved or interested in bird business(es), I’m passing along notification we’ve received from USDA APHIS VS of confirmation of avian influenza in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.

On June 25, 2012 the Mexican Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) contacted APHIS to confirm the detection of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H7N3 virus in three large commercial operations in the Mexican State of Jalisco.   The state of Jalisco does not export poultry to the United States.

VS will take the following actions, which are standard when HPAI is detected in a country that was considered free:

    • Initially, VS will consider the entire country affected with HPAI.
    • Once VS is able to evaluate the epidemiology information provided to us from Mexico, we may be able to narrow the nationwide ban, likely to a single state.  After regionalizing to the state level, we may be able to regionalize further, to the county level.  This will depend on an assessment of the risk and the effectiveness of movement restrictions from the affected area.
    • U.S. port personnel will be notified through a port alert.
    • APHIS will be in close contact with Mexican government officials to gather epidemiological information regarding the progress of the disease control operations in the State of Jalisco.

We do not anticipate that the detection will have an extensive impact on trade. Only two establishments in Mexico export fresh poultry meat to the United States.  Based on our regulations, these establishments only receive U.S. origin poultry for further processing (cut up, deboned, packaged), which is then exported back to the U.S. This trade will not be affected by the HPAI detection.  Except for returning US-origin pet birds, live birds are not allowed from HPAI-affected countries. Over the past year, ten returning pets of U.S.-origin were imported from Mexico, along with one shipment of 40 birds for commercial sale.  No live poultry or eggs for hatching were legally imported from Mexico during that timeframe.

As more information becomes available, we will continue to provide updates on the situation.

Latest NM VSV Update

Folks it’s looking like the situation’s getting worse instead of better. I received notice this evening that the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus outbreak in NM is still spreading. The message from the NM State Vet’s Office today states they now have 11 premises under quarantine. I’ve excerpted the counties:

Currently eleven premises are under quarantine. The counties of Otero, Valencia, Socorro  and  San Miguel  have positive confirmed  cases.  The counties of Dona Ana and Roosevelt have had suspect cases. The counties of Bernalillo and Santa Fe are considered high risk for cases of VS.

Please be careful out there!

Bone Remodeling

Anyone want to talk a little physiology? I’m guessing that got a big “NO!” But bear with me a minute though please.

Osteoclasts. Osteoblasts. Microfractures. Stress. Dynamic forces & Re-modeling.

Any folks into horse training or weight lifting? or any other exercise that stresses the skeletal system? The reason I bring this up is because stressing the system just enough to cause microfractures causes bone to remodel, becoming denser, stronger, able to endure greater forces. That’s how we (and animals) develop the ability to run faster (among other physical feats). It’s not all about the muscles. Remember that they have to attach to the bones.

Osteoclasts are the special cells that chew up bone and spit out calcium and phosphorus. Osteoblasts are the special cells that take calcium, phosphorus and a few other items and turn it into bone. If you’ve ever seen a radiograph of a horse limb and noticed how parts of it resemble the flying buttresses of some cathedrals, it’s because the osteoclast/osteoblast dance is responding to dynamic forces by remodeling the bone to better endure the trauma.

Obviously there are a lot of other factors that affect the situation – nutrition, genetics,   duration, etc.

The real trick if you’re training is to make a few microfractures which causes the re-modeling/strengthening that you want without pushing too far and getting an actual fracture (and the catastrophic destruction that you don’t want.) That’s one of those points where science becomes art in my mind.

In addition to the dynamic I just described being the case with bones inside individuals, it’s also the case with organizations. To grow, to get stronger, faster, and better requires controlled stress, some microfractures, then time, energy and proper care so as to create a response that strengthens and results in a greater ability to excel.

Enjoy the ride.

What Else We Do

Lately I’ve been trying to give folks an idea of the various responsibilities the folks here in the SVO have.

This weekend a couple of our Livestock Officers and myself were involved in another activity that occasionally comes up – an Agency Assist.

Here’s a little background. ARS 3-1379 requires all government agencies (federal, state and local) to notify the ADA within 2 hours of any seizure of livestock or when someone’s taken into custody who is responsible for livestock. So in addition to that mandate on other government agencies, we also try to assist when and wherever we can. (Saying that handling livestock is a lost art, is probably not saying anything that most folks don’t already know.)

This weekend involved helping the Arizona Department of Gaming and the Attorney General’s Office with a raid on an illegal horse racing operation. You can read about the “Bad Bet” in their press release.

BTW black kevlar’s not exactly comfortable in the Sonoran Desert in June. But it sure can be comforting!

Enjoy the ride.