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Horse owners advised to avoid nonessential transport

By Pat Bailey on May 20, 2011 in

In light of the ongoing outbreak of equine herpes virus, tied to a recent equine competition in Utah, experts at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine are providing information about the virus to horse, mule and donkey owners, veterinarians and coordinators of equine events.

Updates on the outbreak, basic information about the virus, recommended practices for protecting horses and mules against the virus, and links to other sources of information are available on the school’s website at:

“We urge horse owners and coordinators of upcoming equine events to educate themselves on the virus and to exercise the utmost caution as they determine whether to participate in or host events that could increase their animals’ exposure to this potentially life-threatening disease,” said David Wilson, an equine veterinarian and director of UC Davis’ William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

“We encourage owners to avoid any non-essential transport of their horses, mules and donkeys,” said Gary Magdesian, an equine veterinarian at UC Davis.

He added that alpacas, llamas and other camelid species are rarely affected by equine herpes virus.

Wilson and Magdesian note that updates on the outbreak are available at the California Department of Food and Agriculture web site at:

Media contact(s)

Pat Bailey, Research news (emphasis: agricultural and nutritional sciences, and veterinary medicine), 530-219-9640,

Lynn Narlesky, Veterinary Medicine dean's office, (530) 752-5257,