Update: Midwest Horse Fair to Continue as Planned
Midwest Horse Fair’s management recently met with the Animal Health Division of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Federal Agriculture officials and Official Event Veterinarians from Irongate Equine Clinic to review the current situation regarding the Equine Herpes Virus. Our main focus is to continue to ensure the health and safety of horses that will appear at the Alliant Energy Center, April 11-13.
The EHV-1 situation: What We Know to Date
As of April 3, two possible cases in western Wisconsin have been reported to the State Veterinarian’s office. In one case, test results on a horse in Polk County did come back positive for EHV-1. That horse is recovering. Test results from another horse in Burnett County came back negative, that horse was euthanized.
Six horses in Minnesota have tested positive for EHV-1. Two of the horses that tested positive are on the same premises in Chisago County. One of these horses has made a full recovery; the other was euthanized. There is one confirmed case of EHV-1 in Dakota County. This horse has been euthanized. Three other horses that have tested positive for EHV-1 are located in Freeborn, Hennepin and Wright counties. All of these horses are recovering. Test results are pending for a second horse in Wright County.
All horse owners should visit the UC Davis Center for Equine Health www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu for a very complete review of EHV-1. This website contains very good background information on the disease.
Additional Measures Being Taken
In preparation for horses arriving at the Midwest Horse Fair, the following is being done and planned to help ensure the health and safety of all horses:
- Barns currently housing another equine event at the Alliant Energy Center will be disinfected prior to the arrival of the horses for Midwest Horse Fair next week.
- Upon arrival, all horse owners will be required to fill out a “Horse Health Questionnaire”.
- Thermometers and temperature cards will be given out during check-in.
- Horses will be visually inspected by onsite veterinarians multiple times per day and monitored for any indications of illness.
- Hand sanitizer with an educational sheet will be distributed to those attending the Fair.
- Posters and signs will be placed around the Fair to remind participants and guests to limit their physical contact with the horses to help protect the health of all horses attending the Fair.
Officials from the Federal Department of Agriculture and State of Wisconsin, Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Division will be onsite starting Thursday.
Informational meeting for participants will be held Thursday at 9 p.m. in Hutchison HW Brand Arena to answer questions and give tips on taking temperature and monitoring your horse’s health.
Assistance from Horse Owners
For the safety of your horse, the safety of other horses, and the future success and continuation of Midwest Horse Fair, we ask that horse owners take these simple steps prior to and during the fair:
- Take and post a record of your horse’s temperature, since a transient fever is the most consistent symptom with this virus prior to the development of neurologic symptoms.
- Talk with your veterinarian and discuss your horse’s health. If your horse is not healthy, please keep your horse at home.
- Clean your tack, equipment and supplies before leaving home.
- Don’t share water buckets, tack, equipment and supplies.
- Minimize horse-to-horse contact while at the Fair.
- Use of plexiglass or plywood on stalls is permitted.
“Recognizing the level of caring and passion we have for our horses, exhibitors and clinicians need to take a primary role in monitoring the health of individual horses to ensure the safest, most enjoyable fair experience. Please recognize the current EHV-1 situation is not significantly different than what is normally present in the equine community and care should be taken not only at Midwest Horse Fair, but at any equine event you participate in,” states Rhonda Reese, General Manager, Midwest Horse Fair.
For more information regarding the 35th annual Midwest Horse Fair, please visit www.MidwestHorseFair.com