COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Officials say horses from two Central Texas counties and affected counties in six other states have been banned from participating in a quarter horse show in Ohio to protect livestock from contracting a viral disease.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture says next month's All American Quarter Horse Congress is not allowing horses from counties with confirmed or suspected cases of Vesicular Stomatitis or VSV.
A confirmed case of the virus has been detected in Hill County and a suspected case has been identified in Hays County in Central Texas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sept. 5 situation report.
The highly contagious virus has also been detected in areas of Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.
The disease primarily affects horses, but can also infect cattle, swine, sheep and goats. It causes lesions that burst, leaving open wounds.
The most common method of transmission is insect bites.
Humans can contract the disease if they come into contact with lesions or secretions of infected animals.
“VSV has not been detected in Ohio and we are taking every precaution possible to keep it that way,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey.
“With the All American Quarter Horse Congress coming, we thought it was important to restrict further movement to prevent the disease’s potential spread.”
Veterinarian Dr. Scott Myers of the All American Quarter Horse Congress, however, said in a message Monday, “The list of quarantined counties continually changes as counties are added to and fall off the list.”
“The Congress is still a long way off and much can happen from now until the first horse enters the Congress grounds.”
“Ohio Quarter Horse will work with our state veterinarian to keep you informed about import requirements and how they may change as the arrival date gets closer.”
“Our hope is that very few of you will be affected.”