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Guidelines are issued as equine herpes virus spreads

SHARE Guidelines are issued as equine herpes virus spreads

There was another confirmed case of the equine herpes virus, EHV-1, in Utah on May 22, according to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. That brings the total number in the state to eight confirmed cases and 13 suspected cases with all the horses being quarantined at seven private locations in Box Elder, Davis and Kane counties.

Two horses were euthanized after being unable to return to their feet as well as showing untreatable symptoms. The UDAF recommends all equine events continue to be held as scheduled, saying the threat of the virus spreading is minimal.

Throughout the country, the incidence of EHV-1 has more than doubled in the last week to 75 confirmed cases at 61 facilities in nine U.S. states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Monitoring and Surveillance System. Twelve horses have been euthanized. There have also been cases reported in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.

Utah State veterinarian Bruce King issued biosecurity guidelines on the UDAF website at ag.utah.gov/news/EquineHerpesOutbreak.html. These guidelines are in addition to those recommended by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Most likely the biosecurity guidelines, which have not always been perfectly implemented, will become a permanent feature at competitions and venues even when they are difficult to implement.

Mel Borup Chandler works in real estate investment and property management with his wife Sandra. His e-mail address is mbccomentator@roadrunner.com.