Editor's note: The following update replaces the statement of May 20, 2011, from the School of Veterinary Medicine.
May 24, 2011
When the current EHV-1 outbreak began, horse owners were initially advised to avoid nonessential transport of their animals to reduce the risk of exposure to, or spread of the virus among the horse population. Now that we have obtained more information through ongoing testing, reporting and monitoring, we have concluded that the EHV-1 infection outbreak is centered around horses that were present at the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National Championships (NCHA) held at the Golden Spike Event Center in Ogden, Utah from April 30th to May 8th and/or the Kern County Cutting Event in Bakersfield, California, on May 13th. This includes cutting horses that did not attend either of the above events but have subsequently come into contact with horses returning from those events.
Based on what is known today, we are suggesting that managers of horse shows or events occurring in California during the coming weeks incorporate the following biosecurity measures to minimize the risk for all participants:
1. Event managers should create a short document for participants to sign upon arrival at the show grounds to confirm that their horses, mules, and burros attending the show/event have not attended or had prior contact with horses from the NCHA Championships in Ogden, Utah and/or the Kern County Cutting Event in Bakersfield, California, or been on the same premises with horses that have returned from these events. Horses that have attended, or been exposed to horses returning from either event will not be allowed to enter the show grounds.
2. Establish a “No Fever” policy for horses attending the event. Give the participants prior notice of the new “No Fever” policy before they arrive at the show grounds. Provide instructions for obtaining the horse’s temperature and an index card on which to record temperature readings for each horse.
a. All horses will have temperatures taken twice daily and results will be posted on front of the stall/pen for inspection.
b. Any horse will be subject to random temperature check by the show veterinarian or designated member of the veterinary staff during the event.
c. Any horse with a fever of 102°F or greater will be removed from the event and premises immediately (i.e. within 2 hours of detection of fever).
d. If the owner cannot move the horse off the premises, a professional horse hauler contracted by the event will remove the horse to a designated isolation area at the owner’s expense.
It is understood that some (most) horses with a fever will not have EHV-1; however, in the interest of conducting a safe event under the current circumstances, the "No Fever" policy will be enforced. If you do not wish to comply with these safety measures please do not attend the event.
Resources -- Links and fact sheets (PDF)
California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
This laboratory performs testing services.
Real-Time PCR Research and Diagnostics Core Facility (PCR testing services), UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
Center for Equine Health, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
California Department of Food and Agriculture http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/animal_health/equine_herpes_virus.html
CDFA Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy Fact Sheet
These biosecurity guidelines have been developed, based on currently available information, by the California State Veterinarian and the faculty at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, to minimize the risk of transmission of infectious diseases at public equestrian events. As the situation changes, these and other guidelines will be modified as appropriate.