MS Animal Disease and Disaster Preparedness Program

Download this brochure in PDF format.Be a Part of the Solution

Do your part to protect the health of Mississippi’s horses.

It is very important that Mississippi horse owners move forward as an industry to safeguard the health of our herds. The danger of a contagious disease outbreak in the national horse herd, whether by natural occurrence or terrorist attack, makes it imperative that the location of horse owners and their herds be readily available to animal health officials. Horse owner cooperation is essential for rapid disease response in the instance of a contagious disease outbreak.

Rapid response to disease events is critical to maintain the health of the state herd. Not only do certain diseases endanger the entire industry, they could cripple our nation’s economy. Diseases such as Equine Viral Arteritis, Equine Herpesvirus or Equine Infectious Anemia have far-reaching potential for major economic impact on horse owners. Quick and effective disease containment is vital for keeping a disease from affecting additional producers.

Enrollment in the program also gives animal health officials contact information to coordinate aid and relief efforts for natural disasters such as hurricanes. For example, ranchers with registered farms were called by the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office during recent blizzards. Those phone calls helped locate animals and find out if they have had access to feed. Emergency hay drops then followed.

Similarly, a state-level animal disease and disaster preparedness program here at home will be invaluable when severe weather or other disasters in Mississippi threaten animal agriculture.

How the Program Works

Step 1 - Fill out a horse owner registration form.

A horse owner registration form is included in this brochure. These forms are also available from the Mississippi Board of Animal Health. Filling out a horse owner registration form means making basic contact available to state animal health officials for use only in the event of an animal health emergency. An online version of the form is available at the following website: www.mbah.state.ms.us The Mississippi State University Extension Service can assist horse owners in obtaining and filling out these forms as well.

Step 2 - Return your completed horse owner /producer registration form to the State Veterinarian’s office at the Mississippi Board of Animal Health.

Completed horse owner registration forms can be mailed, faxed, e-mailed, or completed online. Contact information for the State Veterinarian’s office is included on the horse owner registration form.

Step 3 - Receive your unique horse owner / producer registration confirmation in the mail.

A randomly generated unique horse owner registration number will be assigned to your horse owner registration form. You will receive a letter from the State Veterinarian’s office confirming receipt of your horse owner registration information and notifying you of your horse owner registration. In the event of an animal health emergency, this information will be used to rapidly respond to the emergency to protect your animals and Mississippi’s livestock industries. Otherwise, this basic contact information will sit in a database at the Mississippi Board of Animal Health.

What Do I Need to Know?

What does it cost to sign up?

Enrollment in the program is free of charge to Mississippi horse owners and livestock producers. The only cost is a few minutes of your time to complete the sign-up process. This is a small price to pay for protecting the health of animal agriculture in Mississippi.

Why should I register my farm?

In an animal health emergency, no one can help you protect your animals if they do not know you are there. This basic contact information opens the lines of communication between horse owners and animal health officials. Registering your farm means that you will be alerted quickly when there is a potential disease threat to your animals. You then have the information and assistance you need to take action and protect your animals and your investment.

Where will the data be stored?

The Mississippi Board of Animal Health will be responsible for keeping the data on file. The information provided as part of this state animal disease preparedness program will only be accessed on an as-needed basis in the event of an animal health emergency.