Press release: Harden releases latest update on preventing horse herpes outbreak

State Senator Clint Harden (R- Clovis) has been in close contact with the Office of the State Veterinarian regarding the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) that has been exposed in New Mexico and he has been informed on how to prevent a horse herpes outbreak in the state.

Senator Harden said the latest information he has received from the State Veterinarian indicates that the virus has killed one horse in the central portion of the state. Senator Harden said it is a potentially serious situation, “I want to make certain horse owners in my district and throughout the state are aware that the Office of the State Veterinarian is strongly recommending that horse owners limit their travel and exposure for the next seven days to avoid a possible outbreak.”

This seven-day timeline should not interfere with any of the Memorial Day Weekend Equestrian events.

Senator Harden has learned that the one horse in central New Mexico died after an acute paralytic onset of the neurological disease. Another horse in the Hobbs area was found to be exhibiting the neurological disease and was transported to a Texas Veterinary Clinic where the horse was reported to be improving and has been returned to the Hobbs ranch which is under quarantine.

“The State Veterinarian is trying to get people to rein it in and not attend any horse shows this weekend to avoid the potential spreading of this mutant strain that has no real prevention,” Senator Harden said. “Nationally, some major shows and events have been cancelled to this coming weekend keep this serious situation from getting worse.”

The State Veterinarian had previously issued a notification that horses attending the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah between April 30 and May 8, 2011 may have been exposed to the severe neurologic form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1).

Senator Harden said he learned that there are a number of horses that attended the Ogden show that were not entered in the show, so there are no record of those horses and that secondary exposures at shows immediately following the Ogden show are known to have occurred. Because the identity of the secondary exposures are not known, the State Veterinarian is recommending that owners limit travel and exposure for the next seven days.

Senator Harden suggests people go to the New Mexico Livestock Board’s website for additional information and future developments.

That address is: nmlbonline.com