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African horse sickness: Imported zebras need health check and quarantine

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Thai PBS

Humans have the coronavirus, the animal world in Thailand has an outbreak of their own: African horse sickness.  The government is now requiring all imported zebras to be quarantined and tested before entering the country. The same goes for horses.

Why are people importing zebras? Who knows, but apparently it hasn’t been that hard to get the exotic animals into Thailand. A former university faculty of fisheries dean said “zebras, for instance, are freely imported through Suvarnabhumi airport as though they were cats or dogs,” according to Nation Thailand.

Thailand is experiencing its first outbreak of the disease, affecting more than 500 horses since February. Some were prized racehorses. Apparently zebras imported from Africa are the source, with some of the zebras testing positive for the disease, but officials say there’s not enough evidence to completely lay the blame on the zebras.

There’s been a vaccine released by the government’s livestock department, but racehorse owners say that many horses have died after being vaccinated, with the assumption that the animals had become infected before receiving the vaccine and the animal building immunity. There are strict restrictions in Nakhon Ratchasima where the outbreak emerged. The Bangkok Post said any movement of giraffes, horses, donkeys and mules is prohibited.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post| Bangkok Post 

Posted by Thai PBS on Monday, 18 May 2020

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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