Local Travel Ban Instituted in Wake of African Horse Sickness Positive

A travel ban has shut down equine movement in Knysna, South Africa, following test results that confirmed two horses as infected with African horse sickness (AHS) in the area, reports the reports the South African Broadcasting Company (SABC).

According the SABC, there are currently no plans to halt international exports from the AHS-free zone. A two-year ban on importing South African horses to the European Union due to previous positive cases of AHS cost the South African Department of Agriculture 120 million Rand ($16.5 million). That ban was lifted in October of this year.

The new cases of AHS occurred at a rescue facility in the Knysna area. Of the two mares testing positive for the disease, one has died and another is currently undergoing treatment.

African horse sickness (AHS) is a fatal viral disease that can affect horses, mules, and donkeys, as well as dogs and camels. Horses are most susceptible to AHS, with a 75-90% mortality rate. A vaccine is available, but for infected horses, no treatment is known except supportive care. For survivors, recovery is slow. The disease is spread by insect vectors.

Read SABC's coverage of the cases:

Ban on horse exports not being considered (Nov. 17)

Zebras may be linked to horse sickness (Nov. 19)

Horse owners urged to report horse sickness (Nov. 21)

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care. She owns a portly gray gelding named Duncan and dabbles in several equestrian disciplines, with an emphasis on dressage.

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