Steamboat Springs Cattlemen in Routt County are keeping their ears perked for the foot-and-mouth disease epidemic that is striking European livestock.
Routt County Cattlemen's Association President Doug Carlson said that the disease is a definite issue that local ranchers have on their minds.
"It's certainly something we are keeping and eye on," he said.
The Department of Agriculture has put a quarantine on imported livestock from Europe and the disease has not been reported in the United States yet.
"We're doing everything we can to stop it," Carlson said.
However, according to Colorado Department of Agriculture, people wearing contaminated clothes who have been in contact with infected livestock can spread the disease.
People who have been to Europe in the last month are asked to stay away from ranches for 30 days.
The virus also can be carried in uncooked or under-processed meat, fat and dairy products. The virus can survive in those products for more than a year and can be transmitted to inanimate objects like clothing and shoes. The virus can survive in clothing for up to 46 days at room temperature.
Foot-and-mouth disease is characterized by fever and blister-like sores on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats and between hooves on the animal.
Cloven-hoofed animals, in-cluding sheep, goats, cattle, deer and swine, as well as rats, are susceptible.
The United Kingdom had 126 confirmed cases of the disease in 24 different counties across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as of March 9.
Many animals recover from the disease.
Those animals experience a severe loss in production of meat and milk, according to the Department of Agriculture.
In related news, the Routt County Cattlemen's Association will hold its spring meeting at 1 p.m. today.
Routt County Planner John Eastman will give a presentation on proposed skyline regulations and County Commissioner and cattleman Doug Monger will be there to answer questions.
The meeting will be in the hearing room of the Routt County Courthouse Annex.