No new cases of African Horse Sickness have been detected in the Western Cape, resulting in a revision to the movement restrictions.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, today (26 April 2016) announced the new borders of the containment zone.
“Movement restrictions are still in force within a smaller containment area surrounding the farm where the case was detected. No movement of horses into, out of, through or within the containment area will be allowed without a movement permit from a state veterinarian,” said Minister Winde.
The revised containment zone is as follows:
- 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.
Minister Winde said the vets launched a surveillance programme immediately after the incident was reported.
“An initial census and surveillance programme by state vets in the area surrounding the affected property was performed to determine the extent of the outbreak. All properties on which horses are kept within 5km of the index farm were visited and approximately 200 horses sampled. About 90% of results have been received to date, all of which have been negative for AHS virus. Surveillance activities within the containment area are continuing. Part of this includes investigating the source of the infection, which has not yet been established.”
Private veterinarians in the affected area have also been requested to inform the state vets of any suspected AHS cases or cases indicative of infectious disease both within the containment area and within the AHS surveillance zone.
Prevention measures include:
- Horse owners are 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;
- Vets also appeal to owners to use a registered insect repellent on their horses during the vector feeding periods as indicated above;
- Further protection of the stabled horses can be attained by covering all stable openings with 80-100% shade cloth.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media queries, kindly contact:
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government