Press Release from the State of Tennessee, March 8, 2019:

NASHVILLE– The State Veterinarian has announced that several horses returning from out-of-state events have been sickened by equine influenza virus (EIV) in Tennessee.

Equine influenza is highly contagious, and the virus is spread by contaminated stable equipment and infected, coughing horses. Symptoms in horses may include fever, nasal discharge, cough, loss of appetite, and weakness. Sick horses cannot directly infect people with EIV.

“With EIV, it is much easier for horse owners to take preventive measures than to provide treatment,” said interim State Veterinarian Dr. Doug Balthaser. “Maintaining hygiene procedures with stable equipment and vaccinating your horses is a great start for prevention efforts. Your veterinarian can help you decide the best vaccination plan for your horse.”

Other tips include:

  • Isolate newly introduced horses or horses returning from events for two weeks.
  • For events or stables, restrict entry to healthy horses only.
  • Don’t share equipment or supplies between horses, especially if one spikes a fever, has nasal discharge, or is coughing.

The C. E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory now offers a full line of equine disease testing, including WNV, equine infectious anemia (EIA), equine herpes virus (EHV), equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and equine influenza virus (EIV). Contact your veterinarian for more information.

PRESS RELEASE from the State of Tennessee, Jan. 25:

LINK: https://www.tn.gov/ecd/news/2019/1/25/commissioner-rolfe-appoints-sammie-arnold-as-assistant-commissioner-of-community-and-rural-development.html

Arnold will lead TNECD’s efforts to promote opportunities across rural Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced today the appointment of Sammie Arnold as TNECD’s assistant commissioner of Community and Rural Development.

Arnold, a native of Dyersburg, Tenn., has been with the department since 2013 and most recently served as assistant commissioner of Strategy and Legislative Affairs.

“With 80 of Tennessee’s 95 counties deemed as rural, our commitment to these areas of the state is a top priority for our department. In just three short years, the number of high-quality jobs in rural counties increased from 50 percent to nearly 65 percent, and we remain focused on continuing this growth,” Rolfe said. “Sammie’s wealth of knowledge of the state is matched by his genuine ambition to help expand opportunities across rural Tennessee, and I look forward to seeing the great things that will be accomplished under his leadership.”

Earlier this week, Gov. Bill Lee issued his first executive order, requiring all state executive departments to issue a statement of rural impact and provide recommendations for better serving rural Tennessee. It is the first step by the administration to accelerate plans to address the 15 Tennessee counties that are designated as distressed.

TNECD offers a number of programs and grants aimed at assisting rural communities to build assets and prepare themselves for industrial recruitment. Since 2017, the department has provided more than $34 million in funding to rural communities throughout the state. In addition, companies have invested $3.5 billion and committed to create more than 17,000 new jobs in rural communities over the past two years.

In 2018, TNECD landed 127 projects representing nearly 21,000 new job commitments. Of those projects, 54 percent located in rural counties, an increase from 45 percent in 2014.

“I am tremendously thankful for this opportunity. As a rural Tennessean with deep small-town roots, I am incredibly passionate about supporting our rural communities and protecting their way of life,” Arnold said. “Governor Lee has asked us to be aggressive in developing creative solutions to help our rural communities that are struggling. My team and our department are up to the task.”

PRESS RELEASE from the State of Tennessee, January 16, 2019:

Link: https://www.tn.gov/twra/news/2019/1/18/cwd-update-given-at-first-tfwc-2019-meeting.html

NASHVILLE – The state veterinarian is advising horse owners of four cases of equine infectious anemia (EIA) in Middle Tennessee.

Staff at the C.E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory tested blood samples and determined that four horses stabled at a farm in Rutherford County were positive for EIA. Those horses were euthanized. Six other horses at the same farm tested negative, but will remain in quarantine until they can be tested a second time.

EIA is not contagious to humans. It is a blood-borne illness that can be fatal for horses. Symptoms may include fever, weakness, swelling, loss of appetite, or colic. However, an infected horse may not show any clinical signs. There is no treatment or vaccine. Once infected, a horse must be permanently quarantined or euthanized.

State law requires an annual Coggins test to check for the presence of EIA before any horse is transported from its home farm to a different location. Although that paperwork is valid for one year, horse owners may want to consider testing their livestock more frequently.

“EIA is a serious disease, with devastating consequences,” State Veterinarian Dr. Charlie Hatcher said. “Horse owners should do what they can to minimize risk—including regular testing, taking steps to safeguard against biting insects, and practicing good animal husbandry. As always, contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of illness in your livestock.”

Other tips include:

  • Don’t co-mingle your horse with other, unfamiliar horses.
  • Do not share needles or any other medical supplies that come into contact with blood.
  • Keep the area in and around your barn clean to reduce the fly population.

The C.E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory offers a full line of equine disease testing, including West Nile virus, equine infectious anemia, equine herpes virus, equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, and equine influenza virus. Contact your veterinarian for more information.

PRESS RELEASE from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Dec. 20, 2018:

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) has made regulatory changes in response to the confirmation of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer in Fayette and Hardeman counties. The changes came at a special called meeting of the TFWC on Thursday (Dec. 20) at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency headquarters.

The commission voted to establish a CWD management zone which currently includes Fayette, Hardeman, and McNairy counties. The commission took action to create deer carcass exportation restrictions and a restriction on feeding wildlife within the high risk area of the CWD management zone, exceptions apply. The high risk area of the CWD management zone includes counties within a 10-mile radius of the location of a confirmed CWD positive deer.

Another regulation change for the CWD management zone, is the creation of a new deer hunting season. An archery/muzzleloader/gun deer season was established there for Jan. 7-31, 2019. The bag limit for the season is one antlered deer and unlimited for antlerless deer. All wildlife management areas and other public land on which deer hunting activities are permitted within the three counties will be open during this newly-established season.

On or after Dec. 29, 2018, all hunters harvesting deer on weekends (Saturday-Sunday) are required to check the deer in at a physical check station. The TWRA will publish the locations of these stations on its website.

The TWRA is continuing its efforts of targeted sampling for CWD outside of the CWD management zone. Emphasis will be placed on those counties surrounding the CWD management zone.

With the positive confirmation, Tennessee became the 26th state to have documented CWD. There have also been three Canadian provinces to have CWD.

The TWRA enacted the CWD Response Plan last week following the preliminary positive detection. The response involves a coordinated effort between TWRA, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, and other partners.

Although CWD has no known risk to the health of humans or livestock, it is a contagious and deadly neurological disorder that affects members of the deer family. It is transmitted through animal-to-animal contact, animal contact with a contaminated environment, and with contaminated feed or water sources. It is the most significant threat to the deer population nationwide, as it is 100 percent fatal to deer and elk. Wildlife agencies across the country are working to inform the public about CWD, its deadly results and possible impacts to economies.

More information about CWD, including cervid import restrictions, and videos that explain how to properly dress an animal before transporting it, can be found on TWRA’s website at www.tnwildlife.org. (https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/hunting/cwd.html/)

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF TENNESSEE COMPTROLLER JUSTIN P. WILSON, SEPTEMBER 6, 2018:

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has launched a much-anticipated online tool that makes it easy to see how land is being used across the state of Tennessee.

The Comptroller’s Land Use Model (LUM) will be a valuable resource for people working in economic and community development, urban planning, transportation development, and more.

The online maps allow users to quickly see how each parcel of land within a city or county is currently being utilized.

Each property is color-coded and classified with categories such as single and multi-family dwellings, office spaces, general commercial uses, industrial sites, and agricultural timber lands.

The LUM originated in the former Local Planning Assistance Office of the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD). Since the closure of ECD’s planning division in 2011, the LUM has not been produced. The Comptroller’s Office has now redeveloped and improved this tool using data from the 84 counties on Tennessee’s IMPACT computer-assisted mass appraisal system.

“This data will be very useful for anyone who wants to analyze how land is being utilized across the state,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “We are pleased to offer this tool to each of the counties who use the IMPACT system. We believe the land use model will fill a gap in the planning and economic development community.”

The Comptroller’s Office will update the county land use maps semi-annually. Users can access maps in PDF form or with GIS software.

To access the Land Use Model, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/lg/LandUseMain.asp