Horse plague almost wiped out says Department of Livestock Development

POSTED ON  |  24-06-2020

Disinfecting stables
African Horse Sickness (AHS) has been successfully contained to a limited area, according to the Department of Livestock Development, making the country one step closer to being AHS-free. Sorawit Thanito, director-general of the department, on Tuesday said Thailand is now in the response stage of its anti-AHS operational plan, which was drafted to restore the kingdom's AHS-free status from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

AHS infections in the country are now contained to a limited area, Mr Sorawit said. If there are no reports of AHS-related deaths for 30 consecutive days, Thailand will enter the plan's second stage, which is to conduct surveillance on horses and prevent the return of AHS. The last stage will seek to declare the country free from AHS.

The director-general noted that public-private partnership between all sides, particularly the kingdom's equestrian associations and horse breeders, is key to Thailand's fight against AHS. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has animals in the equine family, including zebras, listed in the Animal Epidemic Act BE 2558 to regulate import and animal movement.

"The department has sent a letter to all horse farms to comply with regulations," Mr Sorawit said. "Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo and Khao Kheow Songkhla Zoo, under the Zoological Park Organisation, are already keeping their zebras under [mosquito] nets."

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