Cape horses hobbled

2013-04-04 22:48

Horse. (Shutterstock)

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Cape Town - The movement of horses into the Western Cape has been restricted after outbreaks of African Horse Sickness (AHS), an official said on Thursday.

Provincial agriculture spokesperson Wouter Kriel said the restriction was effective immediately.

It affected the movement of horses from all other provinces into the Western Cape's AHS control area. Kennilworth, Cape Town, where all South Africa's horse exports departed from, was free of the disease.

A buffer zone, extending from Atlantis towards Cape Town, had been set up to reduce the risk of infected animals contaminating the AHS-free zone.

The rest of the province was declared a control area, and demarcated with signs along major access routes into the Western Cape.

During the current AHS season, from January to June, 208 cases were reported and 126 horses died.

Kriel said none of the cases reported this season were in the Western Cape.

The summer rainfall provinces had conditions conducive to the spread of AHS, which is transmitted by insects.

"Due to persistent high rainfall in the interior, the numbers of cases have increased dramatically and are occurring earlier than in previous years," Kriel said.

Western Cape Agriculture MEC Gerrit van Rensburg advised horse owners against moving their animals into the control area from other provinces.

Those who wanted to would have their horses quarantined for a minimum of two weeks to ensure they were free from the disease.

The movement of horses had to be approved by state veterinarians of the Boland, and of the area where the horses were being moved from.

Read more on:    cape town  |  animals

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