African Horse Sickness Trust
TO: South African Equine community
RE: African Horse Sickness - Potential risk – Movement control
Due to ongoing suspected AHS outbreaks reported to date, additional specific areas have now been closed down for horse movement directly into the AHS Controlled Area of the Western Cape (see page 2 & 3 for full report from the AHS Trust).
To date no general ban on movement into the Western Cape has been imposed by the State Vet Authority however all horse owners considering movements into the Western Cape need to first check with their local State Veterinarian to gain official approval.
Areas currently closed for movement to the AHS Controlled Area:
Johannesburg North – including Kyalami
Specific areas in KZN
Movements from the above areas will be subject to a quarantine period of up to 21 days in Beaufort West.
For the benefit of all South African equestrian sport, we wish to protect the resident population of horses in the Western Cape as well as South Africa’s export status. An outbreak of AHS in the AHS Controlled Area will jeopardize international participation by South African horses.
AHS TRUST OUTBREAK REPORT – APRIL 2010
During the last 3 months, the early suspected cases reported to the AHS Trust have been received from the usual hot spots namely Nelspruit in Mphumulanga, Thabazimbi and the Waterberg areas in the Limpopo Province. This has then been followed by places that annually get cases reported like Muldersdrift, Gauteng and Sakabula near Howick This corresponds to the outbreak pattern from the past years. So far 40 suspected cases have been reported. The mortality rate for the cases reported is below 50% and well below the previous average of 58%
The numbers are substantially down on all previous outbreaks and this could be due to the extremely wet conditions and no prolonged hot dry periods that will have an effect on the breeding patterns of the vector, reducing the number of midges and thereby reducing the impact of AHS
In general terms far fewer suspected cases were reported during March than anticipated. March usually being the month with the highest reported cases for the past 6 years accounting for accounting for about 60% of the total reports received in a season.
We hope this year will continue to be a low outbreak season and thus far has indicated it might remain that way.
This year, samples collected via the AHS Trust reporting system have been couriered to Equine Research Centre (ERC) which then splits them and delivers to the State laboratory, Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (OVI).
Monday, 11 April 2010