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Assessment of paper interstate certificates of veterinary inspection used to support disease tracing in cattle

Katie PortacciUSDA APHIS Veterinary Services, Fort Collins, CO 80526.

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Ryan S. MillerUSDA APHIS Veterinary Services, Fort Collins, CO 80526.

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Philip D. RiggsUSDA APHIS Veterinary Services, Fort Collins, CO 80526.

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Michael G. BuhnerkempeDepartment of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 80526.

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Lauren M. AbrahamsenUSDA APHIS Veterinary Services, Fort Collins, CO 80526.

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the differences among each state's Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI) form and the legibility of data on paper ICVIs used to support disease tracing in cattle.

Design—Descriptive retrospective cross-sectional study.

Sample—Examples of ICVIs from 50 states and 7,630 randomly sampled completed paper ICVIs for cattle from 48 states.

Procedures—Differences among paper ICVI forms from all 50 states were determined. Sixteen data elements were selected for further evaluation of their value in tracing cattle. Completed paper ICVIs for interstate cattle exports in 2009 were collected from 48 states. Each of the 16 data elements was recorded as legible, absent, or illegible on forms completed by accredited veterinarians, and results were summarized by state. Mean values for legibility at the state level were used to estimate legibility of data at the national level.

Results—ICVIs were inconsistent among states in regard to data elements requested and availability of legible records. A mean ± SD of 70.0 ± 22.1% of ICVIs in each state had legible origin address information. Legible destination address information was less common, with 55.0 ± 21.4% of records complete. Incomplete address information was most often a result of the field having been left blank. Official animal identification was present on 33.1% of ICVIs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The inconsistency among state ICVI forms and quality of information provided on paper ICVIs could lead to delays and the need for additional resources to trace cattle, which could result in continued spread of disease. Standardized ICVIs among states and more thorough recording of information by accredited veterinarians or expanded usage of electronic ICVIs could enhance traceability of cattle during an outbreak.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the differences among each state's Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI) form and the legibility of data on paper ICVIs used to support disease tracing in cattle.

Design—Descriptive retrospective cross-sectional study.

Sample—Examples of ICVIs from 50 states and 7,630 randomly sampled completed paper ICVIs for cattle from 48 states.

Procedures—Differences among paper ICVI forms from all 50 states were determined. Sixteen data elements were selected for further evaluation of their value in tracing cattle. Completed paper ICVIs for interstate cattle exports in 2009 were collected from 48 states. Each of the 16 data elements was recorded as legible, absent, or illegible on forms completed by accredited veterinarians, and results were summarized by state. Mean values for legibility at the state level were used to estimate legibility of data at the national level.

Results—ICVIs were inconsistent among states in regard to data elements requested and availability of legible records. A mean ± SD of 70.0 ± 22.1% of ICVIs in each state had legible origin address information. Legible destination address information was less common, with 55.0 ± 21.4% of records complete. Incomplete address information was most often a result of the field having been left blank. Official animal identification was present on 33.1% of ICVIs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The inconsistency among state ICVI forms and quality of information provided on paper ICVIs could lead to delays and the need for additional resources to trace cattle, which could result in continued spread of disease. Standardized ICVIs among states and more thorough recording of information by accredited veterinarians or expanded usage of electronic ICVIs could enhance traceability of cattle during an outbreak.

Contributor Notes

Supported by USDA cooperative agreements 11–9208–0269-CA and 09–9208–0235-CA.

The authors thank Dr. Colleen Webb for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Portacci (katie.portacci@aphis.usda.gov).