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State takes steps to prevent animal disease

by 5m Editor
24 July 2006, at 12:00am

VERMONT - With Avian flu and other animal diseases a concern, Vermont is taking pre-emptive action to contain a possible outbreak through the registration of all farms and other locations that keep livestock on the premises. The state Agency of Agriculture begins holding the first of at least 14 public hearings around the state this week on draft rules for its mandatory Premises Registration program. The hearings are also intended to educate livestock owners on "biosecurity" — ways to prevent disease from infecting their animals. The new rules, which would take effect in two phases beginning in mid-2007, are opposed by some farmers and livestock owners who say the program would do nothing to stop the spread of animal diseases and would harm small family farms. As written, the draft rules require someone to register their location if they keep the following: cattle, sheep, goats, horses, deer, American bison, swine, poultry, pheasant, chukar/partridge, Coturnix quail, camelids, emus and alpacas as well as cultured trout. Livestock locations include dairy farms, deer farms, animal markets, livestock dealer premises, livestock transporter premises, slaughterhouses, equine quarantine facilities and rendering plants. <i>Source: Times Argos</i>

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