Formed 1969

EQUINE HERPES VIRUS

EQUINE HERPES VIRUS – EHV

There has been a confirmed case of EHV in Hampshire which has resulted in equestrian venues in Hampshire, Dorset & Somerset cancelling events and others are considering whether to or not to at the time of posting this. So if you are planning to attending an equine event I would check before you leave that it is still being held.

The Animal Health Trust has posted the following:

15 January 2020

Further to the recent outbreak of neurological EHV-1 at an equestrian centre in Hampshire, which has resulted in the deaths of three horses, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has been undertaking laboratory testing and analysis of samples taken from horses connected with the equestrian centre. The results have proven useful in identifying where the infection has been active and support the current veterinary advice on biosecurity.

Dr Richard Newton, Director of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance at the Animal Health Trust, commented: “The swift action from horse owners and vets from the outset of this outbreak is to be commended. However, it is important that the shutdown at the centre remains in place for now and further testing is carried out before any restrictions are relaxed. If any horse owner is concerned about their horse’s health, they should consult their own veterinary surgeon for advice.”

The disease is a major welfare concern for horses and foals. It can strike any horse at any time, causing emotional, as well as financial strains, on horse owners and breeders around the world. Currently, there is no vaccine effective against all forms of the disease.

Equine Herpesvirus can cause a seemingly healthy pregnant mare to suddenly, and without warning, miscarry her unborn foal. It can cause a horse which appears fit and well to suddenly show abnormalities when walking and within hours be unable to stand. It can also cause respiratory disease, similar to a cold, which can easily spread from horse to horse.The virus lies dormant and then re-emerges when an animal is later stressed, such as when transported or mixed with new horses.