No Restrictions on Horses Traveling to, from Florida as Result of EHV-1 Case

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HITS Post Time show grounds in Ocala, Florida

Florida’s Department of Agriculture confirmed Sunday that no restrictions have been placed on horses traveling to and from the state as a result of a single case of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) discovered four days ago at the Horse Shows in Sun (HITS) show grounds in Ocala.

Biosecurity measures have been implemented at the HITS facility and the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center which hosts the Winter Equestrian Festival and Global Dressage Festival in Wellington as well as other venues. Ocala and Wellington are 240 miles (386km) apart.

Thousands of horses from around the world are in Florida for the winter circuits, the largest of which is at PBIEC.

The positive test for EHV-1, wild-type strain was made after the horse showed clinical neurological signs in Ocala on Feb. 20.

“Currently, the horse is in stable condition and continues to be treated at the University of Florida,” the department said in a statement. “There are no additional suspect or confirmed cases at this time.

“The Division of Animal Industry is continuing the disease investigation, which includes the HITS show grounds in Ocala, the local index farm and multiple premises that have horses that may have been exposed to the positive horse.

“No new quarantines have been issued today and the seven quarantines issued since last Thursday remain in place.”

Those quarantines include the index farm, Tent 7 at HITS and five additional premises in Florida; two farms in the Ocala area, one in Pinellas Park, one in St. Augustine and one in Wellington.

“At this point in the investigation there are no known exposed horses in other states,” it said.

“Additional movement requirements or restrictions have not been imposed by Florida or any other states at this time. We are advising horse owners and trainers to contact the venue of destination for any additional requirements prior to travel.

“We are asking all those in the equine community to practice prudent bio-security on their farm and to report any suspected cases of EHV-1.”

The horse at Wellington’s PBIEC was tested and received a negative result for EHV-1. The horse was previously stabled in Tent 7 at the HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida. As a result of the circumstances and an initial symptom of fever, the horse was placed in isolation as a precaution. The horse will stay in isolation until released by the State veterinarian.

Quarantine at the original tent at PBIEC has been lifted on the Department of Agriculture recommendation.

No horses are allowed to enter PBIEC property, both WEF and GDF grounds at The Stadium, without a health certificate or statement of health on official licensed veterinarian letterhead within 48 hours of arriving. All horses shipping into PBIEC are required to arrive during daylight hours.