Kuruman under quarantine for suspected African horse sickness

2017-01-16 18:08
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Kuruman - The Northern Cape town of Kuruman, and surrounding areas, have been placed under quarantine after a suspected case of African horse sickness was reported in the John Taolo District Municipality, the provincial Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Department said on Monday.

Restrictions on the movement of horses and donkeys have been implemented within a 30km radius of Kuruman.

Samples from three horses in the area have been collected for testing by the department's veterinary services.

Department spokesperson Phemelo Manankong said in a statement that the quarantine would be lifted should the results be negative.

"If the results are positive, the quarantine will be in effect for 60 days after the last horse has died of the disease. The quarantine may only be lifted by the state veterinarian director or the director for animal health," Manankong said.

The disease is caused by a virus transmitted by midges. Clinical signs in horses include difficulty breathing, swelling of the head, foaming from the nose and the sudden death of the animal, Manankong said.

"The department is advising horse owners to take precautions that include protecting horses from being bitten by midges and treating them with registered products for this purpose. Horses can be kept indoors until the sun is well up and be put into the stable before the sun sets and the midges become active."

All horse owners are by law required to annually vaccinate their horses against the sickness.

Read more on:    animals

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