African Horse Sickness restrictions eased in Western Cape - MEC

2016-04-26 13:59

Cape Town - Restrictions on transporting horses have been relaxed as no new cases of African Horse Sickness have been detected in the Western Cape, Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde said on Tuesday.

A smaller containment area had been established around the Schoongezicht farm in Paarl where a horse died of the disease earlier this month. The disease is transmitted by midges.

"No movement of horses into, out of, through, or within the containment area will be allowed without a movement permit from a state veterinarian," Winde said in a statement.

The farm's remaining 10 horses tested negative for the sickness. Another 70 horses in the area had been tested and cleared. 

The transport of horses on roads that formed the borders of the containment area was permitted. 

The revised containment zone is:

The eastern border follows the Jonkershoek area along the Limietberg mountain range to the Voëlvlei dam; 
Westwards, it extends past the southern end of the Voëlvlei dam to the R46, which it follows through Hermon, Riebeeck Kasteel and to 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. 

Following the fatality, vets visited all properties with horses within 5km of the farm and tested about 200 horses. About 90% of results had been received to date, all of which were negative for the virus. 

Surveillance within the containment area was continuing. This included investigating the source of the infection, which had not yet been established.

Any horse owner in the surveillance zone detecting illness accompanied by unexplained fever, swelling of the head and neck and difficulty breathing in their horses should report it to their local state veterinarian swiftly, the department said.


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