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.

Turf Paradise EHV update

(Phoenix) On January 28, 2016 the Department of Agriculture quarantined horses at Turf Paradise after an incident concerning a very contagious virus.  The quarantine requires all horses at the track to stay and for no horses to come onto the property for 21 days.

The quarantine follows three horses coming into the state from Dona Ana County, New Mexico where five horses were diagnosed with Equine Herpes Virus last week.  The New Mexico Livestock Board issued a quarantine for several locations, but the horses at Turf Paradise left before the restrictions were in place.

Turf Paradise immediately isolated the three horses following that disease report and monitored for clinical signs.  The track is also requiring strict biosecurity measures for all horse owners and personnel at the track.

“This virus type can cause severe neurological symptoms, which one of the horses that came from New Mexico developed,” said Acting State Veterinarian Sue Gale, DVM.  “The case is not confirmed by testing yet, but is considered to be probable case of the virus.”

Equine Herpes Virus is highly contagious among horses but poses no threat to humans. The symptoms in horses may include a fever, nasal discharge, wobbly gait, hind-end weakness, dribbling of urine and diminished tail tone.

The virus is easily spread by airborne transmission, horse-to-horse contact and by contact with nasal secretions on equipment, tack, feed and other surfaces. Caretakers can spread the virus to horses if their hands, clothing, shoes or vehicles are contaminated.

“If horse owners notice these symptoms, they should contact their personal vet,” said Dr. Gale.  “If veterinarians see a horse with these symptoms, they need to report the case to the state veterinarian.

Officials at Turf Paradise say the track will remain open and that there is no concern for people who attend the races.  Officials with the Department of Agriculture, Racing Commission, and Turf Paradise will continue to work together to resolve the issue.

Western Blend horse feed, 50 lb. bags, lot 5251 recalled for toxic ingredient

If you buy Western Blend horse feed in 50 lb. bags (manufactured by Western Milling), check the label.  If the lot number is 5251, do not feed it to your horses.  This feed has been recalled because it may contain a feed additive, Monensin, that is intended for cattle but toxic to horses.

Signs of poisoning in horses from this feed additive can range from poor appetite and refusal to eat the grain product, to weakness, depression, wobbly gait, or sudden death.

The feed subject to this recall was distributed in September 2015 to stores in California and Arizona.  Of the 1100 bags under recall, all but 67 have been reclaimed by the company.

Click the link below to read the full recall notice from the FDA.

Western Milling recall notice

Vesicular Stomatitis found in an Apache County Horse

Although all VSV-affected premises had initially been released from quarantine in Arizona as of July 15, 2015, on September 14, 2015, the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa subsequently confirmed a finding of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection (New Jersey serotype) from an equine premises in Apache County, Arizona. One horse from the premises met the case definition of infection with compatible clinical signs and positive complement fixation antibody titer. Based on this confirmation, Arizona has been added back to the list of currently VSV-affected states.

Currently, there are ninety (90) affected premises remaining under quarantine in 7 states (Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming).

As a result, horses from Arizona are not being allowed to enter Canada.  This restriction will remain in place until the quarantine is lifted.

For more information, go to the USDA Vesicular Stomatitis web page