Saudi Arabia Bans French Horses

Saudi Arabia banned the importation of horses and birds from France Dec. 9, due to fears of a possible spread of West Nile Virus (WNV) into the country. The official Saudi Press Agency reported that the ban was prompted by “cases of horses affected by West Nile disease, which affects humans and animals in some parts of France.”

France has experienced a number of equine WNV cases in the fall of 2000, in the Southern Camargue marshlands. This is a major horse-breeding region.

The ban follows an embargo last month placed on horses and birds imported from New York and from Jordan—both areas have been affected by WNV.

Saudi Arabia is currently battling another viral disease called Rift Valley Fever, which is transmitted from infected livestock to humans.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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