Equine virus contained in Colorado

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The state of Colorado has released almost all the horses held under quarantine, and says the Equine Herpesvirus is contained in the state.

No new cases have been confirmed since May 20, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture  state veterinarian.

“I’m proud of the coordinated effort by the horse industry, veterinarians, event coordinators, and our office. Without the proactive collaboration of all involved, this disease could have had an even greater negative impact on Colorado’s horse industry,” said State Veterinarian Keith Roehr.

Colorado had nine confirmed cases of horses with the virus. Two horses, which tested positive for EHV-1, were euthanized after showing severe neurological signs associated with the disease.

There are currently no suspect cases. Two facilities remain under quarantine or a hold order but those facilities are on track to be released soon.

“This is great news for Colorado’s horse industry and it seems this disease hit its peak in May but I want to caution horse owners that this outbreak serves as a good reminder that proper disease prevention efforts are important anytime you travel with livestock. This outbreak also demonstrates how our animal health and disease control processes work together for successful outcomes,” said Roehr.

The new travel requirements for horses entering Colorado remain in effect until further notice. Standard requirements for horses entering Colorado include a health certificate issued within 30 days of their arrival and a negative Coggins test within 12 months. The new requirement consists of a permit to enter the state. Horse owners who wish to bring their horse into Colorado must first call their veterinarian. That veterinarian can then contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office at (303) 239-4161 and request a permit number. That number would then be included on the health certificate.

Additional resources can be found at www.colorado.gov/ag.