DOW looks into Mesa County

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A quarantine on Little Creek Ranch in Collbran remains in place while an investigation by the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado Division of Wildlife continues concerning disease issues and transportation of exotic hogs and sheep. Meanwhile, an important step has been completed in the case.

The quarantine order follows the Nov. 17 seizure by state wildlife and agriculture officials of a livestock trailer containing 20 exotic sheep and 16 feral hogs as it was about to enter Little Creek Ranch. The exotic hogs are illegal to possess or transport in Colorado, and the driver did not have required permits for importation or transportation of any of the animals.

The livestock were quarantined in an isolated building at the Garfield County Fairgrounds. Fourteen of the 16 hogs tested positive for pseudorabies, a disease that poses threats to livestock, wildlife and pets. All the exotic hogs seized have been euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease. The sheep have returned under seal to Texas, their state of origin.

The quarantine orders remain in effect until officials can verify that no hogs remain and that any other deficiencies are addressed.

Pseudorabies is a contagious viral disease of animals that primarily affects pigs. However, the disease is also a threat to domestic pets and to wildlife, such as raccoons, opossums, fox, skunks and small rodents, which can contract the disease by coming in contact with infected swine.

For additional information about Pseudorabies, a USDA fact sheet is available at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/swine/f_a_q.shtml

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