APHIS Issues Notice on Re-Use of Needles

Re-using needles can spread a variety of diseases in livestock operations. ( John Maday )

There have been recent discussions about the importance of biosecurity and reusing needles. Veterinary Services cannot over-emphasize the importance of single-use needles in the diagnosis and treatment of livestock. Needles contaminated with blood or tissue can act as fomites, carrying infectious agents and rapidly transmitting disease through a herd or between herds of animals. Using needles on only one animal and then safely discarding used needles protects the health and well-being of livestock and the customers we serve. Some diseases that may be transmitted with dirty needles include:

  • Bovine leucosis;
  • Bovine virus diarrhea;
  • Bluetongue;
  • Anaplasmosis;
  • Caprine arthritis and encephalitis;
  • Cryptosporidiosis;
  • Strangles;
  • Ringworm;
  • Clostridial disease (blackleg);
  • Caseous Lymphadenitis; and
  • Several foreign animal diseases, such as Nipah virus.

Additional information on preventing disease spread is available in the National Veterinary Accreditation Module 4, Preventing Disease Introduction and Spread, located athttps://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/nvap/ct_aast.