Horse owners want action over deaths

Horse owners want action over deaths

An official counts zebras at a private zoo in Chachoengsao province. A ban on imported animals was imposed following the outbreak of African horse sickness. Photo by department of national parks, wildlife and plant conservation
An official counts zebras at a private zoo in Chachoengsao province. A ban on imported animals was imposed following the outbreak of African horse sickness. Photo by department of national parks, wildlife and plant conservation

The owner of a horse farm is considering suing state agencies for approving imports of wildlife from Africa, believed to be the source of a disease outbreak that has killed many racehorses in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Uthen Chatphinyo, owner of a racehorse farm in the province, said African Horse Sickness (AHS) has killed 21 of his 160 horses. The dead horses are worth approximately 50 million baht.

Nopphadon Sarobon, the owner of another horse farm, said he had lost 20 horses that he had bred for sale. Each horse was worth 400,000 and 800,000 baht.

The owners and academics yesterday petitioned the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to include AHS in the list of disease outbreaks to be controlled under the Animal Outbreaks Act. The law bans any movements of horses and prohibits the import of zebras and other wildlife species.

Chetthaphong Meksamphan, the former dean of the Faculty of Fisheries at Kasetsart University, said it was important to find out who imported AHS-infected wildlife from Africa which led to the transmission of the disease to local horses.

In February, some zebras were reported to have been resold to buyers in Hua Hin district instead of being re-exported to China, their intended destination. Blood tests revealed that these zebras were infected with AHS.

An investigation discovered that the disease outbreak began on Feb 24 at several farms in Nakhon Ratchasima. As of last Saturday, 154 horses had died.

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Vocabulary

  • Act: a law passed by a country’s government - กฎหมาย
  • breed (verb): when animals make babies - ผสมพันธุ์, เลี้ยง, ต่อพันธุ์
  • intended: planned; wanted to happen - ที่ได้วางแผนไว้ ที่ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น
  • outbreak: the sudden start of a disease - การระบาดของโรค
  • petition: to ask someone in authority to do something - ยื่นคำร้อง
  • prohibit: to not allow; to ban - ห้าม
  • sue: to take legal action against a person or organisation, especially by making a legal claim for money because of some harm that they have caused you - ฟ้องร้อง
  • transmission: the spread of a disease from one person or animal to another - การแพร่เชื้อ
  • worth: having a value in money, etc - มีค่า, มีมูลค่า
  • zebra (noun): an African wild animal like a horse with black and white lines (= stripes) on its body - ม้าลาย

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