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African Horse Sickness spreads in the north east, death toll passes 500

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Researchgate

The outbreak of African Horse Sickness, or African Plague, that emerged in Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima recently, has killed well over 500 horses and now spread to neighbouring Saraburi province. At least recent 28 horse deaths in Saraburi are attributed to AHS, a highly infectious and deadly disease, according to Saraburi Livestock Development officials.

The department vaccinated horses in 58 out of the province’s 76 farms, which accounts for 70% of the 685 registered horses there. The disease, spread via gnats and midges, continues to move east, west, and south of Pak Chong, and is now affecting provinces, most recently Phetchaburi and now Saraburi, according to the Thai Equestrian Federation.

The owner of Ban Rai Saman Farm in tambon Tha Ma Prang says his horses began dying earlier this month, with 10 already dead and another horse sick. He keeps 24 horses that are usually used to teach autistic children to ride, but some of them are also hired out for film shootings.

He says he has now covered his stables with nets to keep out insects carrying AHS , as recommended by local livestock development authorities, who visited his farm after he alerted them to the recent deaths. Insects carrying the virus can fly for more than 100 kilometres.

An assistant livestock development officer in Saraburi said AHS infections have been reported in Saraburi’s Kaeng Khoi, Muak Lek, Phra Phutthabat, Chalerm Prakiat, Nong Don, and Nong Saeng districts.

He says that so far, 877 out of the 1,161 remaining horses in Pak Chong have been vaccinated, as the virus has already claimed the lives of 433 horses in that district alone.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | The Horse

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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