The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced this afternoon that a horse from a farm in Culpeper County tested negative for Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1). This is the third horse from Virginia to test negative; five have tested positive.
The Culpeper farm, in Rixeyville, has been quarantined since last week, along with nine other premises in Virginia as part of an on going effort to control the spread of the virus from horses that possibly were exposed at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center. Officials are awaiting lab results on additional horses at the present time.
VDACS recommends that horse owners and managers be aware of the signs of EHV-1 and practice good biosecurity to limit the spread of infection. Horse owners should also consult their veterinarians about the immunization status of their horses.
In other news, Sky Meadows and Shenandoah River State Parks will be closed to horses until March 12 due to the recently reported cases of EHV-1 in Northern Virginia. This timeframe may be extended if circumstances require it. The other state parks will remain open to horses; however, the State Veterinarian cautions riders to avoid the co-mingling of groups of horses, such as on trail rides, to limit the spread of this serious, contagious disease. The infection can be transmitted directly from horse to horse but humans can also carry the virus from one horse to another on hands, tack, clothing, equipment, or trailers.