RELEASE: February 28, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department
Lexington, KY - The Florida Department of Agriculture has confirmed the positive diagnosis of Equine Herpes Virus 1 (EHV-1) in horses in Florida. Six of the confirmed cases are linked to the HITS competition in Ocala. An additional horse in the Wellington area (with no identified direct or indirect connection to the Ocala show grounds) has been tested and found to be EHV-1 positive.
The Florida Department of Agriculture has posted a detailed report regarding this situation and is updating the report regularly. These updates include links to additional resources and are available at: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/newsroom/press/2013/02272013_2.html. Please check this source regularly for the most current and reliable information regarding the status of the disease.
The equestrian community is being advised of the importance of horsemen implementing good biosecurity protocols that should be routine when attending competitions or visiting other venues where horses of different origin and disease status are congregating. If planning to travel to such venues, make certain you contact the venue prior to travel to understand what biosecurity measures have been imposed. Additionally, it is advised that you consult with your veterinarian in evaluating your horse's current vaccination and immunity status and to review or develop an individual biosecurity plan. The California Department of Food & Agriculture has published a bio-security tool kit at this link: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/animal_health/equine_biosecurity.html. Dr. Stephen Schumacher, Chief Administrator for the USEF Drugs & Medication Program describes this as a "good comprehensive resource compiled from a number of sources."