More African Horse Sickness; Lift of EU Ban Could be Delayed

According to a report on, an online publication in South Africa, African horse sickness (AHS) has been detected in the Worcester and Robertson districts of the Western Cape, 12 km (about 7 1/2 miles) from the premises where the area's first case of AHS this year was reported on the border between the two districts.

The publication revealed that about 300 cases have been reported in KwaZulu-Natal (in the eastern part of the country). Read the article here.

"It is starting to look like an outbreak in the area as the first incident has not been an isolated case and turned out positive," Dr. Gary Buhrmann, Western Cape Veterinary Services chief state vet for the Boland, told the publication.

Infected horses are being treated and quarantines are in place. Officials are encouraging horse owners to vaccinate their animals against the disease, keep the horses indoors where they have less exposure to Culicoides midges (which spread the disease), and to use insect repellents. Many of the infected animals were not vaccinated against AHS.

Burhmann told the publication that the EU was monitoring the AHS situation in order to make a decision on the ban, which was eligible for removal on March 28. For more information on the EU ban see 6697.

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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