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HomeNewsHorse euthanized after virus detection at Ruidoso Downs

Horse euthanized after virus detection at Ruidoso Downs

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The New Mexico Livestock Board and New Mexico Racing Commission are working with officials at Ruidoso Downs to ensure a horse-specific virus is limited to the one racehorse confirmed positive late Friday.

That horse was euthanized Friday night.

The barn in which the horse was located at the racetrack is under quarantine following confirmation of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV), specifically EHV-1. An adjoining barn is also under quarantine pending test results.

There are several strains of EHV, none of which are transmissible to humans. The strain confirmed in the horse was the neurotropic form of EHV-1, which can cause severe neurological problems in horses. According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, EHV-1 is contagious and spread through contact, either directly from horse to horse or indirectly between horses via their human handlers, feed and water buckets, grooming gear, riding tack, and trailers.

Officials will work with horsemen and women at Ruidoso Downs to implement other biosecurity measures, including cleaning and disinfecting any surfaces or items with which horses have or may come into contact; wearing plastic boot covers, gloves, and other disposable personal protective equipment; and sanitizing footwear and clothing with disinfectant spray.

The animals in the quarantined barn are having their temperature taken twice daily to identify any horses with fever, a primary indicator of EHV-1.

“Because the virus was found in just one horse in one barn, right now there is no reason to discontinue racing at Ruidoso Downs,” said Shaun Hubbard, general manager. “All I can say is sanitize, sanitize, sanitize and disinfect, disinfect, disinfect. All biosecurity measures must be in place and enacted.

“With everyone’s help and cooperation, I feel adamant we will continue to have a successful meet.”

The racing season at Ruidoso Downs continues through Labor Day.

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