NAHMS delays 'Equine 2015' studyNAHMS delays 'Equine 2015' study
July 10, 2015
THE Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) was scheduled to begin Phase II of its "Equine 2015" study on Aug. 1.
However, APHIS is currently responding to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which is now the largest animal health emergency APHIS has ever faced. Due to the magnitude of the emergency HPAI response, NAHMS must postpone Phase II of the "Equine 2015" study until 2016.
Phase II of the study requires APHIS to have a full complement of veterinary medical officers and animal health technicians in the study's 28 participating states. NAHMS staff availability is crucial to coordinating and reporting the study's findings. These personnel, however, are actively involved in the HPAI outbreak and are unable to participate in Phase II of the equine study, APHIS explained.
APHIS said it is optimistic that the HPAI outbreak will subside this summer, but the agency is unsure what the cooler fall weather and wild bird migrations will bring, so its top priority now and in the near future will likely be the HPAI outbreak.
APHIS plans to reinitiate Phase II of the study next spring/summer if emergency response obligations change and personnel are available. The agency is also examining the feasibility of implementing the parasite portion of Phase II this August as it does not require field personnel or facility visits.
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