Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Equestrian Centers on Alert over Virus

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Equestrian Centers on Alert over Virus

Article excerpt

Horse farms throughout New Jersey and New York have been quarantined and temporarily shut after a horse in a Newburgh, N.Y., competition was diagnosed with the neurological form of equine herpes virus Type 1. Among the quarantined farms is the North Jersey Equestrian Center of Pequannock.

Lynne Richmond, public information officer for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, said the agency was informed of the sick horse on Jan. 18. The animal, from a farm in Gladstone, was immediately tested at the state Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory.

Afterward, the department confirmed that just that one horse was positive with the virus. Working with the New York State Veterinarian's Office, the department conducted a "trace back" of the horse's movements.

During the weekend of the Jan. 12 Newburgh competition, the animal came into contact with 11 other horses, including three from the farm in Pequannock's Pompton Plains section. Those 11 horses have been identified and tested and are being monitored. As of Friday, none of the 11 horses showed signs of the illness, said Richmond.

Karl Bauer, owner and president of the North Jersey Equestrian Center, confirmed that his farm is quarantined but only as a precaution, because none of his three horses that came into contact with the infected horse has EHV-1.

Other North Jersey horse farms are aware of the virus and have taken the precautionary measures. The West Milford Equestrian Center will not allow any horses to leave its farm or enter competitions, nor allow outside horses or visitors to enter the premises. It might continue the lockout through February.

Bauer said the horses at Pequannock are doing well.

"We're monitoring not only the horses that were at the horse show, but we are monitoring all our horses," Bauer said. "We have the ones that were at the horse show in a separate barn. …

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