Is California Ready for a Livestock
Emergency Animal Disease or Pest
The U.S. and California programs closely
monitor and regulate the movement of
livestock across its borders. Despite these
efforts to prevent the introduction of disease
and pests and to ensure the importation of
only healthy livestock, the risk is always
present. More than 45 million people travel
internationally each year, with more than 6
million entering California. Viruses, bacteria,
and pests do not respect borders and are
capable of “hitching a ride” into California on
imported animals and on travelers’ clothing,
bodies, and possessions. The illegal
smuggling of animal food products also
poses serious risk to California animal
Potential Signs of
Emergency Animal Disease
1. Sudden, unexplained production or
death loss in the herd or flock.
2. Severe illness affecting a high percentage of
the animals in a herd, flock, or
3. Blistering around an animal’s mouth,
nose, teats, or hooves.
4. Unusual ticks or maggots.
5. Staggering, falling, or other central
nervous system disorders.
If you recognize signs of emergency animal
disease, report them immediately!
1. Call your veterinarian first.
2. Call the CDFA, Animal Health Branch:
3. Call the USDA Veterinary Services at:
(916) 854-3900 or (877) 741-3690
If you learn that illegal animals or animal food
products are being smuggled into the state,
report it to animal health officials (you may
remain anonymous). By reporting, you help
protect California livestock from the threat of
• Immediate response is crucial. The first 24
hours are the most important in stopping the
spread of a disease or pest.
• Animal Health officials may waive laboratory
fees for services needed to investigate
possible emergency animal diseases or
pests, so there is no cost to the producer.