5/02/2014 12:00:00 p.m.
ESNZ wishes to inform its members that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has notified of an outbreak of a neurological disease in horses arising from Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 (EHV-1).
· EHV-1 is a common virus in the NZ horse population.
· This is the first instance when neurological effects have been observed and confirmed in NZ.
· Many horses are infected as foals and show no clinical signs of disease. The virus often sits dormant and can be reactivated later in life. Reactivation is more likely in times of stress, such as, giving birth, weaning and long distance transport.
· This neurological form of the outbreak is very limited and has currently been isolated to a small part of a single property – a Waikato thoroughbred stud farm
· MPI have notified that 12 horses have been infected, of which 6 have been euthanised; all other horses on the property are being closely observed.
· MPI have examined horse and staff movements in relation to the affected property, and on the basis of known information, including consideration of the period of time since horses have left any part of the property, state that there is low risk of infection for horses that had been on the property.
· On the basis of information provided by MPI and having consulted with the NZ Equine Health Association; ESNZ advises no changes to continuation of all planned ESNZ equestrian activities.
MPI are urging horse owners to be vigilant for signs of the disease (see attached fact sheet) and to contact their own vet should you have any concerns.
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