AHS outbreak kills 154 horses

AHS outbreak kills 154 horses

African horse sickness (AHS), which was recently reported for the first time in Thailand, has caused the deaths of at least 154 horses in Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Phetchaburi, according to the Department of Livestock Development (DLD).

AHS is a highly infectious, deadly disease caused by the African horse sickness virus which commonly affects horses, mules and donkeys. While AHS is not directly contagious, it is known to be spread by insect vectors.

Sorawit Thanito, director-general of the DLD, said AHS is not transmittable between animals and humans.

As of Saturday, 154 horses have died from AHS. They were among 835 horses kept at 32 farms across the four provinces.

Most of the cases were in Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Chong district, where the first AHS death was detected, said the Bureau of Disease Control and Veterinary Services (BDCVS).

Phasawi Somchai, chief of Nakhon Ratchasima's livestock development office, said while there have been no reports of further infections or deaths elsewhere in the province, 146 horses had died and 13 others were sick in Pak Chong district alone.

Provincial governor Wichian Chantharanothai last week imposed a blanket ban on transporting dead horses and other equines, including donkeys and zebras. A disease control centre has also been set up, along with several fast-deployment teams tasked with inspecting any suspected cases.

Hua Hin district in Prachuap Khiri Khan has also seen a sharp rise in AHS deaths, said the BDCVS.

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