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Ohio's Animal Disease Surveillance and Response

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The Division of Animal Health is charged with protecting and promoting the health of Ohio's livestock and poultry industries. Responsibilities include livestock and poultry testing and inspection, licensing, controlling animal diseases in Ohio, and providing veterinary diagnostic laboratory services. The division cooperates with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate drug residue violation cases, which further protects consumers. The ODA Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) is accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD). The laboratory provides credible results, which assist veterinarians and producers in herd health management and enhance the global marketability of Ohio's livestock.


List of Ohio's Animal Reportable Diseases 



Burcellosis (abortus, canis, melitensis, suis)


Contagious equine metritis

Eastern equine encephalomyelitis

Equine herpes virus 1 (clinical or exposed neurological disease)

Equine infectious anemia

Equine piroplasmosis (babesia caballi, theileria equi)

Foot and mouth disease

Fowl typhoid

Highly pathogenic avian influenza

Hog cholera

Infectious encephalomyelitis (poultry)

Infectious hematopoietic necrosis

Infectious laryngotracheitis

Infectious pancreatic necrosis

Infectious salmon anemia

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus


Mycoplasma gallisepticum (turkeys)

Newcastle disease

Poultry chlamydiosis-ornithosis

Poultry paramyxovirus (other than Newcastle)

Proliferative kidney disease


Psoroptic cattle scabies

Psoroptic sheep scabies


Salmonella pullorum


Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies


Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis

Vesicular exanthema

Viral hemorrhagic septicemia

Whirling disease (myxobolus cerebralis)


*as found in OAC 901:1-21-02 Dangerously Contagious or Infectious and Reportable Diseases


African Swine Fever

African Swine Fever (ASF) is a devastating, highly contagious and deadly disease that would have a significant impact on U.S. livestock producers, their communities, and the economy if it is found here. There is no treatment or vaccine currently available for this disease; the only way to stop it is through depopulation of affected or exposed swine herds.

ODA works closely with other federal and state agencies, the swine industry and producers to take the necessary actions to protect our nation's pigs and keep this disease at bay. Together, we are actively preparing to respond should ASF be detected on U.S. soil. 

ASF does not infect people but can affect both farm-raised and feral (wild) pigs. It is readily passed from one pig to another by direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected pig. The practice of feeding uncooked food waste (that has not been appropriately heat-treated) to pigs can also result in transmission of the virus if the food waste contains contaminated pork products.

ASF does NOT affect public health or food safety - meat is safe for people to eat.

The signs of ASF in swine include high fever, decreased appetite, weakness, red, blotchy skin or skin lesions, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing and difficulty breathing. Other signs may include piling, tiredness, and going off feed. Sudden deaths or abortions may be the first sign of infection in a herd. Animals may be infected 3-21 days before showing signs.

ASF is shed in saliva, breath, milk, semen, urine, and manure. It can be spread directly between animals OR spread indirectly on clothing, footwear, vehicles, equipment, and wildlife. It has also been known to be spread by ticks, mosquitoes, and biting flies.

Pigs infected with ASF may look similar to other diseases including: classical swine fever (hog cholera), acute porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome (PDNS), erysipelas, salmonellosis, actinobacillosis, Haemophilus parasuis infection (Glasser’s disease) and pseudorabies. When observing animals showing the clinical signs above, suspect ASF.

Producers or veterinarians should immediately report animals with any of these signs to state or federal animal health officials for appropriate testing and investigation. Timeliness is essential in preventing the spread of ASF. 

ASF is considered a Foreign Animal Disease found in countries around the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. More recently, it has spread through China, Mongolia, and Vietnam, as well as within parts of the European Union. It has never been found in the United States.

Since 2018, there have been numerous outbreaks of ASF across Eastern Europe and China. Throughout 2019, China experienced a rapid national outbreak that continued into multiple other countries in southeast Asia. The outbreaks in southeast Asia have continued to spread to date.

On July 28, 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Dominican Republic confirmed the presence of ASF. Through an existing cooperative surveillance program, the USDA - Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (Plum Island) discovered the virus in samples from farm and backyard swine. The arrival of ASF in the Dominican Republic means the disease has entered the Americas for the first time in 40 years. At that time, the Dominican Republic dealt with the disease from 1978 to 1980, with 374 outbreaks reported in that period, representing an impact of 192,473 culled pigs. With this report, ASF is now found on five continents.


ASF Response

The Ohio Department of Agriculture has assembled an ASF Response Team, comprised of veterinarians and experts from our Division of Animal Health. They are currently working collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Ohio Pork Council, Ohio State University, Ohio Emergency Management Agency and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to create a comprehensive, statewide response plan. The plan will outline a step-by-step process to be implemented should ASF be detected and will address six areas:  policy, biosecurity, depopulation, surveillance, and permitting.

The team is also trained and prepared to respond to an ASF outbreak. Each member has a specialized focus in crisis response and specific duties in the case of ASF detection.


Meet the Response Team



Dr. Dennis Summers serves as Chief of the Division of Animal Health, which is charged with protecting and promoting the health of Ohio’s livestock and poultry industries. In that capacity, he serves as Ohio’s State Veterinarian and oversees all operations for the division.

Dr. Summers first joined ODA in 2014 as a field veterinarian for the Division of Meat Inspection, then was transferred to ODA’s Division of Animal Health in the same capacity in 2015. He was appointed to the position of Assistant State Veterinarian in 2018 and then Interim State Veterinarian in 2021.

Prior to his service at ODA, Dr. Summers was a private practitioner in Vermont, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. His areas of practice focused on large animal medicine and surgery, mainly dairy, equine, and beef, but also some small ruminants and exotics.

Dr. Summers was born and raised in Muskingum County. He attended The Ohio State University for his undergraduate studies, majoring in Animal Sciences, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in 2001. He completed his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine studies at OSU, earning his DVM degree in 2006.

In 2019, Dr. Summers successfully passed the board-certification examinations from the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (ACVPM). This earned him the status of Diplomate from the ACVPM. ACVPM is a specialty discipline in veterinary preventive medicine.

He also serves as a captain in the United States Army Reserve as an army medical officer. Dr. Summers and his wife, Angela, have three children.



Dr. Kristy Shaw is Assistant State Veterinarian within the Division of Animal Health. In this capacity, Dr. Shaw supports Ohio’s State Veterinarian and serve as the primary  emergency preparedness and disease programs coordinator to ensure the health and safety of Ohio’s livestock interests. 

Prior to her appointment, she served as the Emergency Preparedness and Disease Programs Coordinator for the Division of Animal Health. Dr. Shaw oversaw Ohio’s African Swine Fever (ASF) response plan along with education, outreach, and training for local producers, in addition to coordinating all animal disease programs for the agency. 

She has experience as a private practice veterinarian and a was field veterinarian with ODA’s Division of Meat Inspection. Dr. Shaw has completed FEMA Incident Command Systems Trainings and has been active with the African Swine Fever depopulation committee. 

Dr. Shaw has lifelong experience in the animal industry. She was raised on her family’s beef cattle farm in Hocking County, then went on to receive her Bachelor of Science degree and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Ohio State University. 


Dr. Leeza Bercaw recently joined ODA and is a field veterinarian in Southwest Ohio. Prior to joining ODA, she was a veterinarian in private practice and with USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Dr. Bercaw has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. She was raised on a farm in Clark County. Dr. Bercaw and her husband have one daughter.


Dr. Angela Rospert is an ODA Field Veterinarian covering Northwest Ohio. She has been with ODA since 2019 and is part of the African Swine Fever disposal subcommittee. Angela completed her undergrad degree in Animal Sciences and her Veterinary Degree at The Ohio State University.  Prior to working at ODA, she was in private practice for six years. Angela enjoys working as a field veterinarian for the wide variety of job duties it offers and the opportunity to share her appreciation for agriculture.


Zach Sims has served as an Animal Health Inspector with ODA since 2017. He covers the Southwest part of the state, which spans 10 counties. Zach is part of surveillance for ODA’s African Swine Fever plan. Prior to his work at ODA, he worked for 25 years in a large animal vet practice. Zach and his father have had a stocker backgrounding business (beef cattle) for almost 30 years. He has raised livestock his entire life. Sims was raised on a farm in Highland County and he currently lives just a half mile away on his own farm with his wife and three daughters.


Arlis Young is an ODA Animal Health Inspector covering 15 counties in Southeast Ohio. He has been with the Division of Animal Health for six years. Prior to that, he worked in ODA’s Dangerous Wild Animal program for four years. Aside from working in the livestock markets ensuring regulation compliance, Arlis is also NIMS ICS trained and is currently on the Ohio African Swine Fever response planning depopulation subcommittee. He attended The Ohio State University, where he graduated in 2012 with an Animal Science major and Agribusiness minor.


Kalin Turner has been an Animal Health Inspector at ODA since 2006 where he covers Northwest Ohio. He serves on the ODA African Swine Fever surveillance committee. 


Dr. T. David Frew has been an ODA Livestock Veterinarian since 1998, where he covers Eastern Ohio and provides animal disease response expertise to ODA’s African Swine Fever permitting committee. Prior to his work at ODA, he practiced as a private practitioner, predominantly with large animals in East Central Ohio. He graduated from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1977.


Heidi Johnson has been an Animal Health Inspector with ODA since 2019, working for three years prior in ODA’s Division of Meat Inspection. Heidi covers Northeast Ohio, including Lake, Ashtabula, Geauga, Portage, Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Carroll counties and serves on the biosecurity subcommittee for ODA’s African Swine Fever planning. With an education in veterinary technology and environmental sciences and a former 17-year career in law enforcement, she felt ODA was an excellent opportunity to utilize her combined experience. Heidi enjoys working with livestock, educating those involved with livestock, and assisting with disease intervention and control. Heidi received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from Oregon State University and also has an Associate of Science Degree in Veterinary Technology. She lives on a farm in Mechanicstown in Carroll County. 


Danny Sweitzer has been an Animal Health Inspector for ODA for nearly 25 years, and covers North Central Ohio, including Stark, Summit, Wayne, Ashland, Lorain, Cuyahoga, and Medina counties. He is on the African Swine Fever depopulation committee and is certified by FDA for Ohio egg audits. Danny and his wife have three children and own a small farm with horses, cattle, sheep, and dogs.


Dr. Ellen Yoakam joined ODA Animal Health as a Field Veterinarian in 2019 after 10 years as a mixed animal veterinarian in private practice.  She has a bachelor’s degree from Otterbein College and graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. Dr. Yoakam serves on the African Swine Fever disposal committee and covers a territory in North Central Ohio where she lives with her husband and three children. 


Molly Roberts has been an ODA Animal Health Inspector since 2016. During her tenure, she has helped complete the ODA’s biosecurity portion of the African Swine Fever plan. She has a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in Animal Science. Prior to her role at ODA, she worked in the agricultural industry in production and nutrition work. Molly grew up in Morrow County and currently lives on the family farm with her husband and four children. They raise crops, hay, Boer goats and feed cattle.


Nick Wells has been with the Ohio Department of Agriculture since 2016 as an Animal Health Inspector for Eastern Ohio, covering Belmont, Guernsey, Tuscarawas, Coshocton, Holmes, Jefferson and Harrison counties. Nick is also a member of the African Swine Fever biosecurity planning subcommittee. Prior to his work at ODA, he worked for four years at the Columbus Zoo. He graduated from The Ohio State University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, with a focus in Animal Industry. He grew up on a farm in Southeast Ohio where his family raised cattle, horses, and swine.




Equine Infectious Anemia

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is blood-borne infectious viral disease that produces a persistent infection and may potentially be fatal. The frequency of EIA cases in the U.S. is low. 

Horses 12 months of age and older are required to be tested for EIA in some cases, such as change of ownership or interstate movement. For more information on rules and requirements for testing horses, please visit Chapter 901:1-19 - Ohio Administrative Code | Ohio Laws and Rule 901:1-17-07 - Ohio Administrative Code | Ohio Laws.

EIA is a lifelong infection with no approved treatments. There is no vaccine approved for use in the U.S.

EIA can be transmitted by biting flies and blood transmission through needles. Reducing exposure to biting flies through management practices may reduce the spread of infection. To prevent iatrogenic spread, never reuse needles, syringes or IV sets. Use only new, clean needles with injectable medicines and only licensed and approved blood products. Blood transfusions should be performed by licensed veterinarians using donor horses which have tested negative for EIA and other blood-borne infections like equine piroplasmosis.

Since EIA control efforts began over 40 years ago, the reactor rate fell from 4% to .004% among tested animals. USDA recommends testing every equid annually.

For more information, please visit the USDA APHIS EIA webpage.


Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)  is a contagious, infectious disease of all avian (bird, poultry) species. It can be transmitted from wild birds to domestic birds like chickens and turkeys and amongst commercial/backyard birds. It can also be transmitted via human fomites (inanimate objects) like boots, clothing, tires, and vehicles.

The USDA has created an HPAI webpage that breaks down which states are affected by HPAI, locations of detections, in what type of flock and the number of birds affected.


Clinical Signs of HPAI:

• Lethargy
• Decreased appetite
• Decreased water consumption
• Respiratory signs including nasal discharge
• Purple discoloration of wattles and combs
• Swelling of head and eyelids
• Drop in egg production
• Sudden death


What You Can Do:

•    Prevent Contact with wild birds and waterfowl. 
Keep birds indoors when possible. Add wildlife management practices around your farm. hpaifactsheet_wildlife-biosecurity.pdf (usda.gov)

•    Keep visitors to a minimum. 
Only allow those who care for your poultry to have contact with them and make sure they follow biosecurity principles.

•    Wash your hands before and after contact with live poultry. 
Use soap and water. If using a hand sanitizer, first remove manure, feathers, and other materials from your hands.

•    Provide disposable boot covers (preferred) and/or disinfectant footbaths for anyone having contact with your flock. 
If using a footbath, remove all droppings, mud or debris from boots and shoes using a long-handled brush BEFORE stepping in. Always keep it clean.

•    Establish a rodent and pest control program. 
Deliver, store, and maintain feed, ingredients, bedding and litter to limit exposure to and contamination from wild animals.

•    Use drinking water sourced from a contained supply (well or municipal system). 
Do not use surface water for drinking or cleaning. 

•    Clean and disinfect tools and equipment before moving them to a new poultry facility. 
Trucks, tractors, tools and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected prior to exiting the property. Do not move or reuse anything that cannot be cleaned.

•    Look for signs of illness. 
Monitor egg production and death loss, discoloration and/or swelling of legs, wattles and combs, labored breathing, reduced feed/water consumption.

•    Report sick birds:  
Report unusual signs of disease or unexpected deaths to OPA (614) 882-6111 or ODA at (614) 728-6220 or afterhours at (888) 456-3405. 


What should you do if you have sick birds?

• Do NOT bring sick birds to  ODA's ADDL. Please call ODA first.
• Call ODA at 614-728-6220 or after hours at 888-456-3405 OR USDA at 614-856-4735
• USDA/ODA will send out a field veterinarian or inspector to your premise to ask questions about your flock and to collect samples of your birds.



HPAI Fact Sheet

HPAI Biosecurity in Backyard Flocks

HPAI Information for Non-Commercial Poultry

HPAI Response Process

HPAI What To Expect

HPAI Restocking Your Poultry Flock

HPAI Indemnity and Compensation




Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease that affects both animals and humans. It can be spread through breathing or by contaminated water or feed.

According to the USDA, cattle usually show no clinical signs of the disease. It’s usually only detected by testing or at slaughter. The likelihood of catching TB is low. It occurs about 7 times per 1 million herds a year, according to the USDA.

If you think your herd has TB, please contact your veterinarian. 

For more, visit the USDA.