EHV-1 update: five more horses dead and positive tests linked to third Spanish tour

  • Five more horses have died in the equine herpes virus outbreak (EHV-1) and hundreds more have been blocked on the FEI database following positive tests relating to a third Spanish tour.

    Yesterday (16 March) the FEI said it had been notified of five new deaths; two in Belgium and three in Germany, including a newborn foal. The number of horse deaths relating to the outbreak is now 17.

    An FEI spokesman said the organisation had been advised of positive EHV-1 tests in three horses; two at their home stables in Belgium, and one in Switzerland, who had returned from the Spring Mediterranean Tour (MET II) in Oliva, Spain (9-28 February).

    The spokesman said that although the two horses in Belgium subsequently tested negative for the virus, all 856 horses who participated in Oliva since the start of MET II on 9 February have been blocked on the database. MET III had been due to run from 9-28 March, but the show organisers informed the FEI of the tour’s cancellation on 1 March.

    Continued below…

    In Valencia, horses have continued to leave the venue; 84 have left and 22 are scheduled to leave tomorrow (18 March). This will leave 35 horses on site. Four horses are still in the Valencia veterinary hospital, and seven are at a nearby hospital. The FEI spokesman said a positive EHV-1 case has been confirmed in a horse who had returned from Valencia to its home stables in Slovakia.

    Following positive tests in two jumping horses who had travelled to Doha for the Global Champions Tour, on Monday (15 March) the FEI blocked 19 dressage horses and 17 para dressage horses who had competed in the Doha CDI5* and the CPEDI3* at the end of February. An FEI spokesman said although the dressage horses flew separately from the jumping horses when leaving Doha, a negative test will have to be provided before the horses will be unblocked from the database.

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