The Western Cape government in South Africa has banned the movement of horses from two northern provinces after an outbreak of African Horse Sickness

The transport of horses from two provinces, Gauteng and Mpumalanga, in South Africa into the Western Cape has been stopped after the outbreak of the highly infectious and fatal disease, African Horse Sickness.

Western Cape agriculture spokeswoman, Charlene Niewoudt, said: “We are designated as a ‘free zone’ by the European Union, which means we can export horses all over the world.

“We felt we had to impose the ban of horses from the infected areas to protect this status.

“No horses will be allowed here until everything is under control and cleared up and no new cases are reported.”

African Horse Sickness, which is a notifiable disease in the UK, is an insect-borne viral disease characterised by fever, swelling of the head and neck, thick yellow nasal discharge and internal haemorrhaging.

The disease, which is not directly contagious between horses, is influenced by climatic conditions which favour the spread of carrier insects including warm, moist weather and high rainfall,and wind.

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