More hunts take action over equine herpes outbreak

More hunts close to the area where equine herpes virus (EHV-1) has been found in Gloucestershire have taken action to halt its spread.

EHV-1 has been confirmed on one yard near Moreton-in-Marsh, where horses that hunt with the Heythrop are kept.

The Heythrop has suspended hunting for at least a week.

And now the North Cotswold has banned all visitors and the Warwickshire has asked anyone who has recently hunted with the Heythrop to stay away until the outbreak is over.

The Heythrop Hunt branch of the Pony Club has also cancelled all activities during the first week of the half-term holiday (8-14 February) as a precaution

But today (6 February) vet Tom Campbell of Bourton Vale Equine Clinic, who has been dealing with the outbreak, confirmed that it is still confined to a single yard.

Two horses are showing neurological signs of the disease, and a third horse has the respiratory form.

All are responding well to treatment, said Mr Campbell.

Horses on two more yards have tested negative for the virus, he added.

Mr Campbell said he was happy for the Heythrop to recommence hunting this weekend.

Joint-master Vanessa Lambert told H&H: “The incubation period of the virus is between six and 10 days — we wanted to see that period out.

“As long as the outbreak remains confined to that one yard we feel safe enough to hunt on Saturday.”

Horse owners in the Moreton-in-Marsh area of Gloucestershire have been warned to watch out for signs of the virus — which include coughing, a raised temperature, dullness and the horse appearing wobbly. [More info about equine herpes]