March 6, 2013
On February 20th, the Division of Animal Industry (DAI) was notified that a horse participating in the Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) show in Ocala had been referred to the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, after exhibiting clinical neurological signs. The horse tested positive for Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), wild-type strain. That horse had been housed in Tent 7 on the HITS Showgrounds which prompted a quarantine of the tent. The horse remains at the university and is in stable condition.
DAI veterinarians began monitoring horses at HITS and tracing exposed horses that had left the showgrounds. As a result of the investigations, five additional horses were found to be positive for EHV-1. Those horses were housed in Tents 3 and 6 adjacent to Tent 7. One horse is under quarantine at Redfield Farm in Ocala. Four horses were placed under quarantine at Miles Away Farm in Loxahatchee. One of these four horses developed neurological signs and was transported to the University of Florida.
With concern that the outbreak was more widespread, the entire HITS Showgrounds was placed under quarantine on February 27th. Movement of horses on or off the showgrounds is prohibited. The quarantine will remain in effect for a minimum of 21 days from the last exposure (February 20th). Any horse showing febrile, respiratory, or neurological signs will be tested. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ personnel are manning the gates of the showgrounds 24 hours a day.
Another horse associated with the HITS Showgrounds, which never showed any clinical signs of EHV-1, has tested positive. This horse is located at Calder Farms in Ocala.
Additional exposed horses that had been stabled in Tents 3, 6 and 7 and moved prior to the HITS quarantine have been placed under quarantine around the state. The following is a list of facilities that are currently under quarantine.
- HITS Showgrounds, Ocala – Entire facility
- Up Country Farm/Synergy Farm, Ocala
- Montera Farm, Ocala
- Flutterby Farm, Ocala
- Foxwood Farms, Pinellas Park
- Black Forest Farm, St. Augustine
- POD-F Farm, Wellington
- Brookmore Farm, Oviedo
- Kings Ridge Farm, Reddick
- Redfield Farm, Ocala
- Miles Away Farm, Loxahatchee
- Calder Farms, Ocala
- Hard Ford Farm, Reddick
- Chestnut Hill Farm (Wisconsin based farm, Ocala temporary location)
**The quarantines listed above do not necessarily encompass the entire premises.
Premises Released from Quarantine
- FEI tent at Wellington Showgrounds – February 28, 2013
The quarantine was initially placed due to two potentially exposed horses that had moved to the tent from Tequestrian Farm and subsequently moved back to Tequestrian Farm the same day. These horses were tested the next day and were negative for EHV-1. The quarantine was released due to these two horses being in the FEI tent for a short period of time and testing negative for the virus, indicating no exposure occurred.
- Tequestrian Farm – March 4, 2013
The farm was initially quarantined due a horse testing positive for EHV-1. This horse was imported from another state and isolated at the farm on arrival. No connection was made between this horse and the HITS Showgrounds’ EHV-1 cases. The horse never developed neurological signs and the quarantine was released after fourteen days with no evidence of transmission, no clinical signs on the farm, and all horses testing negative on the premises. Equine Safety during a natural disaster.
Known State Movement Restriction for Horses
- California requirements include a negative test for Equine Infectious Anemia, obtained within the six (6) months before date of entry, and a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) with a body temperature recorded for each horse in the shipment. Accredited veterinarians preparing CVIs are responsible for fulfillment of the temperature recording requirement.
We are advising horse owners and trainers to contact the venue of destination for any additional requirements prior to travel.
Recommendations for horses that have shown at HITS since February 5, 2013 include close monitoring of animals, reporting of fevers greater than 101.5o F (38.6oC) and strict bio-security measures for at least 21 days after departure from HITS.
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. For reporting, you may call 850-410-0900 Monday through Friday 8:00am-5:00pm and 1-800-342-5869 after hours and weekends.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will continue to work with HITS management, trainers, and veterinarians to ensure proper safeguards are taken to prevent further spread of the disease.
Frequent informational updates will be provided, so please continue to visit this Website regularly at: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/ai/.