6:00am

Wed May 18, 2011
Agriculture

Fatal Equine Virus Moves Colorado to Change Horse Transportation Requirements

The Colorado Department of Agriculture is putting in place new transportation requirements for horses traveling to the state. It’s a move that comes on the heels of three confirmed cases of a fatal horse virus.

Since last week, the state has seen a rapid spread of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), which is spread through coughing and nasal discharge. Before the outbreak, state law required horses entering Colorado to be accompanied with a certificate of heath. Now owners entering the state will also need a permit number from the state.

Officials say horse owners who want to transport their animals should call their veterinarian, who will have to call the Colorado Department of Agriculture to request a permit number to be added to the horse's health certificate, which is already required for entry.

“Outbreaks of equine herpes virus have not been uncommon,” said Dr. Keith Roehr, State Veterinarian.  “I would say that the extent of this outbreak is unique.”

So far, three cases of the virus have been confirmed. Test results for several others are still pending. The virus can cause neurological problems in horses, and could be fatal.