Cases of African Horse Sickness under control in Cederberg
Cape Town - Following five suspected cases of the African Horse Sickness (AHS) virus being detected on a single farm in Cederberg, the provincial Department of Agriculture has taken urgent measures to control the spread of the disease.
The Cederberg Municipality has been designated as an AHS outbreak-controlled area and, according to Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer, the provincial veterinary laboratory has confirmed that samples, from a recent equine death, tested positive for presence of the the AHS virus.
“A preliminary outbreak-controlled area has now been established. The borders are: An eastern border delineated by the border between the Western Cape and the Northern Cape; a western border delineated by the Atlantic Ocean; a northern border following the existing AHS protection zone border, which runs from the Atlantic Ocean and the southern border follows the Cederberg Local Municipality border.
“No horses, donkeys, or zebras, will be allowed to move out of, into, through, or within the outbreak-controlled area, without a permit issued by the department's veterinary services, and all forms and permit applications concerning the outbreak-controlled area can be obtained and submitted to the email address: [email protected]”
John Grewar, South African Equine Health and Protocols veterinary expert, said because the area where the deaths have occurred is so remote from other horse farms, it is unlikely to impact on the horse trade with EU countries.
“In any case, we are currently not trading horses with the EU, since the freezing of direct horse exports after a previous outbreak. We will have to wait for an audit, postponed last year by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Meanwhile, the International Society for Infectious Diseases said: “There is no evidence that humans can become infected with any field strain of AHS, either through contact with naturally or experimentally infected animals, or by virus manipulation in laboratories."