30/03/2020 12:45 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 -- The Equestrian Association of Malaysia (EAM) has alerted local horse owners to take necessary precautions following the African Horse Sickness (AHS) outbreak in Thailand.

The deadly viral disease that originated in Africa, which commonly affects horses, mules and donkeys, is reported to have killed 42 horses in the Thailand's north-eastern province of Korat.

EAM, the governing body for the development and promotion of equestrian events in the country, released a circular on Saturday (March 28) calling for a safeguard of the population of local horses outlining a few biosecurity measures.

Among the measures are to restrict the movement of the horses in and out of their respective establishments, isolating horses with clinical signs and fumigating all feed trucks and feeds thoroughly.

“For stables in the Northern belt (Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu) please maintain a movement log for your horses from Thailand for the past 30 days. Any horse that shows signs of high fever, nasal discharge, lack of appetite, breathing difficulty or sudden death should be notified to the State Veterinary Department and EAM immediately.

“Sick horses should not be moved from their respective stables to another facility without clearance from the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS). As the disease spread is caused by biting midges (Culicoides), necessary precautions should be taken to ensure that stable hygiene is not compromised.

“The activity of Culicoides is at its peak during early morning and late afternoon, please fumigate the stable surroundings twice daily,” said the circular signed by EAM Veterinary Committee chairman, Dr Shri Kanth.

The stables in the Northern belt are also advised to install insect screening and application of insect spray on horses more than twice daily, besides not allowing the horses to be in paddocks for extended periods of time.

As stagnant water and ponds become breeding grounds for biting midges, it is advised to clean water catchments regularly, adding anti-larvae and installation of water movement or oxygenators in water reservoirs.


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