|The Department of Agriculture is asking veterinarians and producers to report cattle thought to be at risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy by calling a toll-free number operated by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The number is (866) 536-7593. |
Callers reporting high-risk cattle will connect with a local APHIS office that will provide additional information. The USDA will help defray costs incurred by industries participating in the surveillance program for such items as transportation, disposal, storage, and tested carcasses.
As part of APHIS' enhanced BSE surveillance effort, producers, renderers, veterinarians, and others should call the toll-free number and report high-risk cattle if they see animals that are dead, nonambulatory, or have signs of central nervous system disorder, emaciation, or other signs associated with BSE.
To target diseases such as exotic Newcastle disease and avian influenza, the USDA is also encouraging bird owners, particularly in states where there is a large presence of backyard poultry, to report sick birds via that same toll-free number.
For more information, visit www.aphis.usda.gov.