The Devil Is in the Details

What equine biosecurity methods do you use around your horse farm or facility?

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The Devil is in the Details
Be sure to have dedicated grooming equipment for each horse to minimize chances of spreading infection (this applies even in times when all the horses seem healthy). This includes the rag in your back pocket you just used to wipe a horse’s nose, or any sponges. | Photo: iStock

I started writing about EHV-1 outbreaks back in 2003, when there was an incident that killed 12 horses and sickened many others. It touched at least three facilities, devastating horse owners, handlers, and veterinarians alike. Scientists first called the pathogen an “atypical viral strain.” They later developed a test that allowed them to determine that strain differs from the one that usually causes respiratory disease in young horses. Since then, there has been ongoing work to further characterize viruses causing the most severe kind of EHV-1 infection, the neurologic form.

In the 14 years since, our industry has seen its share of EHV-1 incidents, each resulting in a flurry of industry response, quarantines, and eventually resolution. With each new incident comes further planning on how best to control the neurologic form of infection.

Sometimes in my media role I feel like a broken record with charges to adopt biosecurity practices and efforts to explain concepts such as how either variant, wild or neurologic, can cause neurologic signs and, thus, warrant precautionary

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Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

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