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Stables in lockdown as strangles discovered

News | Published:

A PRIVATE horse yard has locked down its stables voluntarily after it was confirmed its ponies had been infected with strangles.

The highly contagious disease, which can kill horses, was brought to the island by a pony imported from England by the yard owner.

However, States veterinary officer David Chamberlain said it was unlikely that the pony had spread the infection to other horses before arriving at the yard.

He has asked horse owners in Guernsey to follow good bio-security practices, as advised by the Animal Health Trust, which include having clear protocols for new arrivals and vaccinations.

'The owner of small equine establishment in Guernsey imported a pony from England and shortly after arrival it developed a runny nose characteristic of a mild upper respiratory tract infection,' Mr Chamberlain said.

'Three weeks later a second pony who was already at the yard, and which was a companion to the imported pony, developed similar, but more extreme symptoms.'

He said the owner had contacted him because of concerns that the imported pony could have brought a contagious equine disease to the island.

For more information on the biosecurity practices, visit the AHT website http://bit.ly/2oTgSe3.

It is is a contagious upper respiratory tract infection of horses and other equines caused by a gram-positive bacterium, Streptococcus equi.

As a result the lymph nodes swell, which compresses the pharynx, larynx and trachea and can cause airway obstruction leading to death.

Strangles is common in domesticated horses worldwide and the contagious nature of the infection has at times led to limitations on sporting events.

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