Reporting Animal Diseases
To report a disease, contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) using one of the methods below to ensure the report will reach us within the time limit:
- Phone: (608) 224-4872, Monday-Friday, 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Evenings & weekends: (800) 943-0003, after-hours. Tell the duty officer you are reporting a potential animal disease.
DATCP's Division of Animal Health is responsible for monitoring for animal diseases and responding when outbreaks occur. The state veterinarian heads the division and is the only person in Wisconsin who can quarantine animals.
The division is specifically responsible for responding to regulatory diseases. These are diseases that have the potential to spread to humans (zoonotic diseases), such as brucellosis and rabies; that may spread from farm to farm, such as foot-and-mouth disease or pseudorabies; and that cause other states and nations to close trade doors to our livestock and animal products, such as avian influenza or tuberculosis. We do not monitor for what are known as “production diseases” that are relatively common, do not threaten human health or spread to other farms, or have trade implications.
Our veterinarians engage in regulatory work, such as testing herds for tuberculosis when we are notified that cattle from infected herds elsewhere have been brought into Wisconsin herds. They conduct disease investigations and epidemiology during disease outbreaks to find and test potentially exposed animals. They respond when a private practitioner suspects a reportable disease — one that is on an international list of diseases that must be reported to animal health authorities. Most of our veterinarians are specially trained as foreign animal disease diagnosticians. Foreign animal diseases are those that are not found in the United States, so may be particularly threatening to our animals.
The diseases discussed here are the ones that we primarily focus our surveillance and prevention efforts on. But we always need to also be on the lookout for newly emerging diseases and old diseases that re-emerge. Animal diseases are an ever-changing landscape that we are always scanning, even when diseases have slipped from the headlines.