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: “Our laboratory testing and analysis of the samples taken from horses associated with the yard has provided us with useful information on the scale of infection. Previous advice on biosecurity for the venue, and horses connected with this premises, remains the same and further testing will be required over the next couple of weeks.”

Dr Newton added: “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 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.”

10 January 2020

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) is aware of a confirmed outbreak of neurological EHV-1 in horses at an equestrian centre in Hampshire and that an event was held at the venue last weekend. The AHT understands that the premises is taking veterinary advice and is managing the situation extremely responsibly.

Dr Richard Newton, Director of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance, at the Animal Health Trust, said: “Currently the extent of the infection and exposure among resident horses at the centre is unclear until sampling and laboratory testing is completed over the next few days. Therefore, our current advice to owners of horses that attended the event at the weekend and returned home is to take a precautionary, but pragmatic approach in the management of their horses at this time. We recommend that such horses should be placed in isolation for 14 days, avoid direct and indirect contact with other horses and undergo daily clinical monitoring, including twice-daily rectal temperature recording. We recommend that veterinary advice should be sought regarding releasing horses from isolation following sampling and laboratory testing.”

Dr Newton added: “We would encourage all horse owners to maintain good biosecurity practices and be aware of the clinical signs of EHV-1 infection. These can include a raised temperature, inappetence and lethargy, nasal discharge, coughing and in some cases neurological signs that may range from slight hindlimb weakness through to recumbency and inability to stand. If an owner has any concerns about their horse’s health, they should consult their own veterinary surgeon for advice.”

Photo credit: Marie Bushill