The Irish Equine Centre has issued an alert regarding an outbreak of the neurological form of equine herpes virus 1 (EHV-1) disease at an FEI competition in Valencia, Spain.
The FEI Veterinary Department is collaborating with the Spanish Authorities to manage the situation and additional veterinarians have been deployed to assist with the 160 horses confined on site.
Currently, 84 horses are showing clinical signs, 11 are being treated in external clinics and four have died. Horses that left the venue before movement restrictions were implemented appear to have spread the virus to France, Germany and Belgium where additional cases have been reported.
The outbreak has been described as the “most serious outbreak in Europe for decades” as more cases are confirmed in other countries.
It is understood that to-date, no Irish riders affected have travelled from the event in Valencia to Ireland. However, anyone receiving horses particularly competition horses, from the continent should seek veterinary advice concerning isolation and EHV11 testing by PCR.
Similarly, competitors planning to travel with their horses to events in Spain should seek veterinary advice.