4 horses died since outbreak of sickness in Western Cape - MEC

2016-06-01 16:23
(File, Reinette van Niekerk)

(File, Reinette van Niekerk)

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Cape Town - Four horses have died since the outbreak of African Horse Sickness in the Boland area in April.

Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde said in a statement on Wednesday that 21 horses on eight properties have tested positive since the detection of the first case. The disease is transmitted by midges.

"All the horses which have tested positive were within the containment area," Winde confirmed.

The area includes the Jonkershoek area along the Limietberg mountain range to the Voëlvlei Dam, then past the southern end of the Voëlvlei Dam to the R46, through to Hermon, Riebeek Kasteel and Malmesbury.

The western border follows the R302 southwards until it intersects with the R304, which it follows into Stellenbosch and along Bird Street to Merriman Avenue. The southern border follows Merriman Avenue, Martinson Road and Jonkershoek Road to the east, through the Jonkershoek Valley and up the escarpment, until it meets with the border of the zone. 

Restrictions on movement remained in force within this zone and no moving of horses into, out of, through or within the containment area would be allowed without a movement permit from a state veterinarian.

Horse exports on the rise

Winde said vets were continuing their surveillance and sampling in this zone for quick responses to any new cases.

He encouraged horse owners to keep their horses stabled from two hours before sunset to two hours after dawn to "decrease the risk of the vector of the disease having contact with their horses".

"We appeal to horse owners to make use of a registered insect repellent on their horses... To further protect stabled horses, owners can cover all stable openings with 80-100% shade cloth," he said.

The horse industry was an important economic and jobs generator for the country, Winde explained, with horse exports from the region on the rise.

"Our horses are known to be excellent performers and are sought-after internationally. As a result, every effort is being made to ensure a swift and professional response."

Read more on:    alan winde  |  cape town  |  animals

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