Animal Health and Disease
The OSV is responsible for the prevention, control, and eradication of animal disease outbreaks in all animals in the state, including livestock and pets. This includes the management of animal imports, disease surveillance, and coordinating emergency response in the event of a disease outbreak or natural disaster.
If you have a sick or injured animal needing medical attention, contact your local veterinarian directly for immediate support. If additional assistance is required, our office is available for consultation and can help coordinate with your veterinarian for follow-up testing for unexplained illnesses or deaths in poultry and livestock.
Animal Health Regulations
The State of Alaska’s Animal Health Regulations (18 AAC 36), under which the OSV operates, establish animal importation regulations, prevent the introduction of animal disease that could infect the state’s domestic and wildlife populations, establish animal care standards, provide for quarantine, vaccination, or depopulation in the event of a disease outbreak, ensure accurate disease diagnosis, prevent the spread of infectious, contagious, communicable, and dangerous diseases affecting domestic animals within the state, and carry out state and federal animal disease control and eradication programs.
The OSV collaborates with local municipalities, state, and federal partners for all hazards state-wide emergency planning purposes, and is available for consultation to local organizations, such as animal shelters and local governments, as they develop their own plans. During an actual event, the OSV would assist in coordinating delivery of supplies and other resources, monitoring animal health and welfare issues, and acting as a liaison with national animal health and veterinary organizations to ensure that domestic animals, as well as humans, will be cared for. For more information please consult the Alaska Animal Health Emergency Management Plan.
Disease Surveillance Programs
The OSV participates in a variety of federally-mandated and voluntary animal disease surveillance programs. These programs help to proactively identify and contain disease events before they become outbreaks. Producers may also participate in disease certifications programs or voluntary testing as part of an overall herd health plan, or for purposes of exporting animals to other states. If you would like more information about any of these programs, please contact us or visit the applicable page listed below. Please note that this section of the website is still under construction, so check back soon for more information.
Animal Disease Traceability
Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) is a federally-mandated and industry-supported livestock-tracing tool necessary to respond to animal health disease events. Knowing where diseased and exposed animals are, and where they have been, is important to ensure a rapid response to an outbreak. This system helps reduce the number of animals involved in an investigation, reduces the time needed to respond, and decreases the cost to farmers and the government. These requirements do not impact intrastate movement so should not be a concern unless you are shipping animals in to or out of the state.
The USDA ADT rule (9 CFR, part 86) went into effect in 2013. The ADT rule’s principle requirements are that livestock moving interstate must be officially identified and accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection. Due to changes within the rule, some forms of identification used in the past may no longer be official once the rule is fully implemented.
Official identification is required for the following:
- All sexually intact beef cattle 18 months of age or over.
- All dairy cattle and bison of any age.
- All cattle used for rodeo, recreation, show, or exhibition.
- All sheep, except market lambs less than 18 months of age. Scrapie ear tags are accepted.
- The requirements do not apply to livestock moving to a slaughter facility in accordance with Federal and State regulations.
Acceptable forms of identification:
- Official ear tags: metal or 840-compliant (RFID or visual).
- Registered breed tattoos when accompanied by certificate.
Information for Veterinarians
The OSV partners with Alaska’s veterinarians to prevent, control, and eradicate animal diseases within the state. Please visit our Information for Veterinarians page for more information on the services we provide, information about reportable diseases, and links to resources pertinent to animal health and disease, import/export requirements, licensing, and accreditation.