Testing is ongoing after an initial outbreak of African Horse Sickness in the Boland area in April this year.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said 21 horses on eight properties have tested positive since the detection of the first case: “All the horses which have tested positive were within the containment area. Four horses have died of AHS. Vets are continuing surveillance and sampling in the containment area so we are able to respond speedily to any new cases. Private vets have been requested to inform us of any suspected cases. No positive cases outside of the revised containment zone have been reported.”

Minister Winde reiterated that the horse industry was an important economic and jobs generator for South Africa, with horse exports from the region growing in number. “Our horses are known to be excellent performers and are sought-after internationally. As a result, every effort is being made to ensure a swift and professional response.”

Horse owners were encouraged to stable their horses from two hours before sunset to two hours after dawn to decrease the risk of the vector of the disease having contact with their horses.

“We appeal to horse owners to make use of a registered insect repellent on their horses during the vector feeding periods. To further protect stabled horses, owners can cover all stable openings with 80-100% shade cloth.”

As of 26 April 2016, the borders of the containment area were revised. Movement restrictions are still in force within this containment area surrounding the case. No movement of horses into, out of, through or within the containment area will be allowed without a movement permit from a state veterinarian.

The eastern border of the containment area follows the border of the AHS surveillance zone from the Jonkershoek area along the Limietberg mountain range to the Voëlvlei dam.

The boundary then extends westwards past the southern end of the Voëlvlei dam to the R46, which it follows through Hermon, Riebeeck Kasteel and to Malmesbury.

The western border of the containment area follows the R302 southwards until it intersects with the R304, which it follows into Stellenbosch and along Bird St until the intersection with Merriman Ave. The southern border follows Merriman Ave, Martinson Rd and Jonkershoek Rd to the east, through the Jonkershoek Valley and up the escarpment until it meets with the border of the AHS surveillance zone.

The roads that make up the borders of the containment area are not included in the movement restrictions, and transport of horses along these roads is permitted. An interactive map of the containment area can be obtained at www.elsenburg.com/vetepi under the Maps tab.

Permit applications should be made to authorised veterinarian Dr Camilla Weyer at camillaweyer@gmail.com.

Any owner within the AHS surveillance zone detecting illness in horses involving unexplained fever, swelling of the head and neck and difficulty breathing should report the case to their local State Veterinarian as quickly as possible. Contact details of regional state veterinary offices can be found on www.elsenburg.com.

 


For media queries, kindly contact:

Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za
Twitter: bronwynnejooste