Within the United States (U.S.) and throughout the world there are diseases that can make food animals sick, causing production losses or even death. Some of these diseases are naturally found in the U.S. and are called endemic diseases. Others are not normally found in the U.S. and are called foreign animal diseases. The complete list of what the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) considers foreign to the U.S. can be found on the APHIS Notifiable Diseases and Conditions webpage. The list of reportable animal diseases in Iowa is in Chapter 64: Infectious and Contagious Diseases.

Anyone (veterinarians, producers, animal owners, etc.) who is suspicious of a reportable animal disease is required to report it to a Federal (866-536-7593) or State Animal Health Official (515-281-5305). 
A sick animal displaying any of the following signs raises the suspicion of a reportable animal disease and should be reported immediately:

  • High morbidity (illness), high mortality (death);
  • Sudden pregnancy loss of unknown cause;
  • Severe respiratory conditions;
  • Vesicular lesions (blisters);
  • Pox or lumpy skin conditions;
  • Poor or no response to treatment when response is expected;
  • Atypical findings at necropsy;
  • History of foreign travel, foreign visitors, or receipt of foreign parcels;
  • Undiagnosed encephalitic (neurologic) conditions;
  • Larvae (maggots) feeding on living tissue;
  • Avian disease with acute deaths or neurologic signs;
  • Unusual myiasis or acariasis (exotic flies, mites, ticks, etc.); or
  • Unusual or unexplained signs of illness.

Additional information on a few select endemic and foreign animal diseases can be found below:

Endemic (Domestic) Diseases

Chronic Wasting Disease 

Paratuberculosis (Johne’s Disease) 


Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV)

Foreign Animal Diseases

African Swine Fever 

Foot-and-Mouth Disease 

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

Newcastle Disease

Regardless of the disease, the best way for you to protect your animals or the animals you are caring for is by implementing strong biosecurity practices. Click here to learn more about biosecurity and how to protect your animals.

Additional Resources

IDALS Producer Guidance for Foreign Animal Disease Investigations

USDA Procedures and Policy for the Investigation of a Potential Foreign Animal Disease (FAD)

USDA Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) Investigation Manual


24-hour Emergency Hotline