Equine Canada’s Health and Welfare Committee is notifying horse owners that Neurotropic Equine Herpes Virus-1 (nEHV-1) has been reported in a horse at the HITS show grounds in Ocala, Florida. It has been confirmed that it is the neurological strain of Equine Herpes Virus 1 (nEHV-1). Outbreaks of nEHV-1 are contagious and have a high risk of mortality.
The horse was referred to the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, after showing clinical neurological signs on February 20, 2013. The horse subsequently tested positive for the Equine Herpes Virus (nEHV-1). Currently, the horse is in stable condition and continues to be treated at the University of Florida. There is no additional suspect or confirmed cases at this time.
The Division of Animal Industry of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is continuing the disease investigation, which includes the HITS show grounds in Ocala, the local index farm and multiple premises that have horses that may have been exposed to the positive horse.
No new quarantines have been issued and the seven quarantines issued since last Thursday, February 21, 2013, remain in place. These quarantines include the index farm, Tent 7 at HITS and five additional premises in Florida.
EHV-1 is a disease that is State controlled in Florida and State and local veterinarians are monitoring all potentially exposed horses and have put biosecurity procedures in place and are supervising the quarantined premises. The Florida boarder remains open at this time.
Several farms and show grounds in Florida has instituted biosecurity protocols. If you are shipping in to a facility to train or compete, please contact the facility to ensure that you will be able to comply with the requirements. Additionally, horses from HITS Ocala will not be permitted at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, International Horse Sport Champions Horse Park at Equestrian Estates and Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. More details may be found at www.equestriansport.com, www.ihspb.com or www.wellingtonclassicdressage.com.
Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) is not a federally controlled disease in Canada. Subsequently, in accordance with international guidelines, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has no authority for requesting certification related to this disease from the United States Department of Agriculture when importing horses from the United States (US). Import conditions for all horses entering Canada from the US will not be changed in relation to the EHV cases in the US. However, as always, imported horses need to comply with all current Canadian import conditions. In addition, arrival of unwell horses at the border can affect the import process.
Any new information and status updates regarding this outbreak of nEHV-1 will be posted on the Equine Canada website at www.equinecanada.ca
Outbreak control of EVH-1 is dependent on proper biosecurity or containment strategies. Equine Canada strongly urges owners to consult the following resources to better understand the nature and control of this infectious disease:
• Government of Alberta Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian – nEHV-1 http://bit.ly/jqjiDg,
• The American Association of Equine Practitioners- www.aaep.org/ehv_resources.htm, and
• Facts About Equine Herpes Virus – http://bit.ly/khha91.
Please visit the Division of Animal Industry of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, www.freshfromflorida.com, for updates on the case in Florida.
For updates on the situation at HITS Ocala, please visit www.hitsshows.com/ocala.
Owners are encouraged to speak with their veterinarian if they have additional concerns or questions.