Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Update on Equine Herpes Virus at Vernon Downs

Courtesy of Lee Park, Director of Communications, New York State Gaming Commission

Three horses stabled at Vernon Downs are known to be infected with a strain of the Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 (EHV-1).

One of these horses was humanely euthanized.

EHV-1 is a viral infection which can cause respiratory disease, abortion in broodmares, death in newborn foals and can also be a very serious neurological disease. The virus does not affect people.

As of May 8, no other horses at New York racetracks or additional horses at Vernon Downs have been reported to have EHV-1.

The Department of Agriculture and Markets has implemented a 28-day quarantine period. No horses will be permitted to ship in or out of Vernon Downs until 28 days after the Department of Agriculture and Markets has determined that the infected horses stop showing symptoms of EHV-1.

Barn number 4 and barn number 2 at Vernon Downs are under strict quarantine, and the only persons permitted to enter these barns are horse caretakers assigned to those barns. Horses in these barns are prohibited from racing or training on the track. These barns will remain under strict quarantine until 28 days after the last signs of EHV-1 are seen in their populations.

Based on these procedures, the Gaming Commission has authorized Vernon Downs to resume live racing on Friday (May 10) with unaffected horses that are currently on the grounds of the racetrack.

The quarantine procedures are subject to change as both the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Gaming Commission continue to monitor the situation at Vernon Downs closely and may modify restrictions based on conditions on-site and/or new information.

For more information on EHV-1, visit the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s website or check the USDA APHIS’ brochure on the virus.