Background: Horse owners should be aware that a group of cutting horses became ill with or tested positive for Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) and Equine Herpes Virus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) after attending a cutting horse event in Ogden, Utah in early May. Since Colorado announced the first quarantines on May 13, cases of suspected or confirmed EHV-1 and EHM have been reported in several western states and western Canada among the cutting horses who were at the Utah event or among horses exposed to those horses.
The American Horse Council (AHC) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) announced today that the US Department of Agriculture will now monitor the outbreak through a national case reporting system. The AAEP and AHC contacted the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Veterinary Service and requested federal coordination of case reporting and monitoring.
According to the AAEP and AHC, until state and federal animal health officials are able to gather, verify and disseminate accurate information on the scope of the current incident, it is critical for individual horse owners and organizations to undertake appropriate and responsible actions to mitigate the welfare and economic implications of potential future transmissions.
State horse entry/travel restrictions
At the time this release was issued, only Colorado and Wyoming had implemented enhanced state entry requirements in response to the on-going EHV-1 disease situation.
Additionally, if you anticipate transporting your horse across state lines it is recommended you contact each respective state/provincial veterinarian’s office before departure to determine if there are any restrictions or enhanced entry requirements due to the current EHV-1 incident. To find your state or provincial animal health office, visit www.aaep.org/us_canada_statehealthoffice.htm.
In the interim, the AHC and AAEP stress the importance of responsible ownership practices and informed communication among industry organizations. Please visit the AAEP’s website at www.aaep.org for additional information on these diseases, as well as updated horse owner and veterinary resources including an FAQ feature about the diseases, biosecurity recommendations, updates from various states and more.
This information was provided in the form of a press release and is reprinted for the use of readers of The Jurga Report.
by Fran Jurga
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