State Lifts Quarantine at Turf Paradise

(Phoenix) Today the Department of Agriculture lifted the quarantine at Turf Paradise Racetrack. The quarantine was implemented on January 28th, after three horses arrived from Dona Ana County, New Mexico where 74 horses have been diagnosed with Equine Herpes Virus. The quarantine was lifted following an investigation and determination that no other horses were affected by the virus.

“We ordered the quarantine to protect Arizona horses from a potentially deadly disease,” said Mark Killian, director of Arizona Department of Agriculture. “While these restrictions seem severe, they were absolutely necessary and, as intended, successful.”

The New Mexico Livestock Board quarantined several locations, but the 3 horses at Turf Paradise left before the restrictions were in place. Only one of the horses that came from New Mexico developed the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus.

For the last 21 days, strict biosecurity measures have prevented the spread of the disease and no other horses have shown signs of infection or illness.

“The hard work of Turf Paradise management has prevented this isolated case from becoming an outbreak,” said Dr. Susan Gale, Acting State Veterinarian. “The quick action of the state and cooperation of Arizona horsemen, the Racing Commission and the track were key to our success.”

Equine Herpes Virus is only one of several dangerous diseases that threaten Arizona livestock. The department relies heavily on veterinarians and livestock owners across the state to watch for signs and contact the State Veterinarian’s Office with any concerns.