Woodbine has 20 horses test positive for EHV-1

Posted on May 19, 2020

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) continues to examine cases of the neurotropic strain of EHV-1 May 18 at Woodbine.

On Sunday (May 17) the AGCO revealed two Thoroughbreds in Barn 12 at the Ontario facility tested positive for equine herpesvirus, and implemented protocols to manage the situation.

Of the 59 horses in Barn 12, there have been 20 confirmed cases of EHV-1. The positive horses are in isolation or transported to the Ontario Veterinary College. One horse had to be euthanized due to damage to its nervous system.

The horses that tested negative will be retested on Tuesday (May 19). The horses in Barn 11 are also being tested. In efforts to identify horses and individuals that have possibly been exposed, Woodbine it undergoing due diligence. The AGCO has also locked down Barns 33 and 35 after another horse demonstrated signs of a fever. This horse is also in isolation and will be tested on Tuesday (May 19).

All infectious disease protocols instituted on May 17 by the AGCO continue.

“The AGCO shares the collective concern for the well-being of all equine athletes and would like to recognize the efforts of staff at Woodbine, the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario, the University of Guelph, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs for their collaboration and diligence in addressing this situation,” the statement read.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and further developments will be reported. EHV-1 cannot be spread to humans and is unrelated to the current COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Kimberly French

Kimberly French is an award winning freelance journalist specializing in horse racing and horse health living in Louisville, KY. Her work has appeared in more than 25 national and international publications. She is currently the editor of Hoof Beats magazine, the official publication of the U.S. Trotting Association and the special assistant to the president for the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

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