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Travel restrictions announced for livestock, pets entering Utah from Florida

The State Veterinarians Office has placed travel restrictions for livestock and pets entering Utah from Florida due to an outbreak of New World screwworm in the Florida Keys.
The State Veterinarians Office has placed travel restrictions for livestock and pets entering Utah from Florida due to an outbreak of New World screwworm in the Florida Keys.
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SALT LAKE CITY — The State Veterinarian’s Office has placed travel restrictions for livestock and pets entering Utah from Florida due to an outbreak of New World screwworm in the Florida Keys.

Screwworm is particularly destructive because unlike the other blowflies in the New World, the fly larvae feed on living — not dead — tissues. The screwworm can infect any warm-blooded animal, including humans, although cases in people are rare. If left untreated, infestations are usually fatal.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Oct. 18 they detected screwworms in six areas west of Big Pine and No Name keys, and have quarantined the area. Animals originating from the quarantined area are not permitted to enter Utah except by special permit issued by the state veterinarian.

All other livestock and pets traveling to Utah from areas outside the quarantine area should be carefully examined for signs of New World screwworm and treated appropriately by a veterinarian prior to entry in Utah. All animals requiring a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection to enter Utah must include the following veterinary statement on the certificate:

"The animals listed on this Certificate of Veterinary Inspection have been examined by me and found to be free of screwworm. The animals have not been exposed to screwworm and have not originated from an area known to have screwworm."

In early October New World screwworm was found in wild deer and pets in the Florida Keys. Screwworm was eradicated from the U.S. beginning in the 1950s with the release of sterile male flies in the wild that mated with female flies that produced infertile eggs, thus eradicating the disease.