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Wildfire Preparation

Fires can have a devastating impact on a farm. Whether it’s a small area fire or uncontrolled wildfire, flames can spread across vast tracts of land, posing serious threats to livestock in barns, pens, and pastures. Livestock Evacuation Documentation Form Wildfires can spread across forests, grasslands, and fields at an astonishing rate. Farms near wildlands/ grasslands or owners that have livestock near these natural areas should be prepared for wildfires and know the steps to minimize risks and losses. Preparation There are several proactive measures that can be completed in advance to prepare producers for a wildfire emergency including: Have contact information for prearranged off-farm evacuation sites (lairage points) handy Review wildfire history in area Identify and maintain equipment that may help fight an approaching grassfire or wildfire (e.g., disk, harrow, tractor, water truck) Good barn and field maintenance can reduce fire danger for horses and other livestock. Make sure barns and other structures are stable, promptly remove dead trees, clear away brush, and maintain a defensible space around structures Reduce vegetation and wood debris within 10 to 30 meters of farm structures by thinning and pruning Create firebreaks by clearing vegetation and exposing bare soil to help curb the

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Spring Risk Mitigation on the Farm

Identify measures you can take to mitigate risk and ways to ensure you are prepared for a quick and effective response should a disaster or emergency strike. High risk during spring Flood or flash flood Grass fires Spring snowstorm Building or structure collapse Plow wind, hurricane, tornado Thunderstorm – lightning strikes Thin ice on dugout, slough or other water Other risks Disease outbreak Drought Hazardous material spill or release Explosion Building fire Transportation incident Building or structure collapse Power outage Water contamination Uncared for or neglected domestic animals Loose livestock Ill or hungry wildlife Response Preparation Have fire extinguishers available and up to date in all barns and buildings. Clear water should be accessible at all barns to allow for fighting fires. Current animal inventory numbers. Ensure animals have access to higher and/or open ground in case of high water or fire. Test emergency generator if you have one. Inspect and make any repairs to fences, gates and livestock trailers that may be needed. Have temporary fencing or penning available and supplies to fix fence. Risk Mitigation Checklist Keep grass mowed around all buildings. Inspect any fences for winter damage before putting animals out on pasture. Make sure all gates

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Equine Disease Alerts

The Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System Disease Alerts Tool provides a nationally accessible inventory of animal health disease alerts from across Canada. Disease alerts can be submitted by government officials, industry organizations and private veterinarians using the following form. All disease alert submissions are validated by CAHSS staff before posting. Cliquez ici pour le français Highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5N1 in Ontario, January 30, 2024 Jan/30/2024 Author: Canadian Food Inspection Agency The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5N1 in the Town of Amherstburg, Ontario, in commercial poultry. The CFIA has advised the World… CFIA webpage Strangles (Streptococcus equi) in Ontario, January 26, 2024 Jan/26/2024 Author: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Strangles (Streptococcus equi) has been confirmed in Grey County, Ontario. On January 25, 2024, a two year old mixed breed filly developed a fever (40.9 C), purulent nasal discharge and enlarged… Equine Disease Communication Center Strangles (Streptococcus equi) in Ontario, January 25, 2024 Jan/25/2024 Author: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Strangles (Streptococcus equi) has been confirmed in the City of Hamilton, Ontario. On January 23, 2024, a 10 year old Warmblood gelding presented with

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Humane Transport and Animal Welfare

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), provincial and territorial governments, producers, transporters, industry organizations, and many others each have a role to play in animal welfare. The CFIA regulates the humane transport of animals and the humane treatment of food animals in federal abattoirs <read more>

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Strangles (Streptococcus Equi) in Ontario, January 19, 2024

Strangles (Streptococcus equi) has been confirmed in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario. On January 16, 2024, a 14 year old gelding presented with a firm swelling under the left jaw which was confirmed to be a swollen left submandibular lymph node on January 18, 2024. The horse also had bilateral nasal discharge. Strangles was confirmed on January 19, 2024. The horse is recovering. The facility manager has implemented voluntary movement restrictions and biosecurity protocols under supervision of their veterinarian. Strangles (Streptococcus equi) in Ontario, January 19, 2024 Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) More

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CAHSS Equine Network

Alongside various other sectors within the agriculture industry, Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System (CAHSS) has an Equine Network. The following is a description on the network: While the role of horses, ponies and mules has continued to evolve over time, our focus on the health and well-being of these trusty animals has remained steadfast. Whether for sport, work or companionship, Canada is home to nearly one million equines. The CAHSS Equine Network brings together stakeholders from across disciplines and across the country to advance disease surveillance for Canada’s equine population. An effective equine surveillance system is essential to protect the health and well-being of horses and humans, safeguard the viability of the Canadian herd, ensure movement of horses and continuance of trade, and enhance the prosperity of the Canadian equine industry. HWAC board members and contacts are part the Equine Network. Additionally, CAHSS operates a disease alert system for Canada. Click here to learn more about the initiatives undertaken by the CAHSS Equine Network. The following infographics are also available: Common problems in horses… do you need antibiotics? Snotty noses in horses… do you need antibiotics? Minor wounds in horses… do you need anitiboitcs? Protecting your horse from equine infectious

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Air Quality and Horse Health

Air quality issues such as wildfire smoke and pollution can affect your horse’s respiratory health As irritating as smoke can be to people, it can cause health problems for animals as well. Smoke from wildfires and other large blazes affects pets, horses, livestock and wildlife. If you can see or feel the effects of smoke yourself, you also should take precautions to keep your animals safe. Animals with cardiovascular or respiratory disease are especially at risk from smoke and should be closely watched during all periods of poor air quality. Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) Smoke contains tiny particles that can go deep into the lungs and cause damage. Look for the following signs of possible smoke or dust irritation in animals. If any of your animals are experiencing any of these signs, please consult your veterinarian. Coughing or gagging Difficulty breathing, including open mouth breathing and increased noise when breathing Eye irritation and excessive watering Inflammation of throat or mouth Nasal discharge Asthma-like symptoms Increased breathing rate Fatigue or weakness Disorientation or stumbling Reduced appetite and/or thirst Protect your horses Limit or cease exercising your horse during periods of poor air quality. Especially don’t require animals to perform activities

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Tick Control in Horses

Ticks are becoming an increasingly significant parasite of horses Written by: Thomas Lenz, DVM., M.S., DACT Ticks are becoming an increasingly significant parasite of horses across the United States. In many areas of the country where they have not occurred before, they are now commonplace. Some blame it on global warming while others believe the increase in deer and other wildlife populations, that also suffer from tick infestation, has resulted in ticks becoming more prevalent, which has resulted in more ticks on our horses. Regardless of the reason, ticks are a major problem. Ticks cause local skin and tissue irritation which can result in the horse constantly rubbing on trees or fences resulting in hair loss; hair coat damage; anemia due to blood loss and transmit a number of serious diseases including Equine Piroplasmosis, Lyme Disease, Equine Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (Ehrlichiosis) and Tick Paralysis. Ticks are not species-specific so the same ticks that feed on your horse can also feed on your dog or you. Ticks are blind and find their hosts by detecting ammonia which is given off by a horse’s breath and body during sweating or by sensing heat, moisture, and vibrations. They wait for a host while resting

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