After five suspected cases of African horse sickness (AHS) were detected on a Cederberg farm, the Western Cape government has taken emergency steps to control further disease outbreak.
According to the provincial veterinary laboratory, samples of a recent equine death tested positive for AHS.
AHS is considered a serious, often fatal disease of horses, mules and donkeys. The virus is spread by infected insects causing fever and heart and respiratory problems in affected animals.
Disease symptoms include:
- swelling and redness around the eyes and elsewhere on the face;
- frothing and discharge from nostrils;
- slow and heavy breathing;
- coughing; and
- a swollen face.
Details or ringfenced area
Western Cape agriculture minister Dr Ivan Meyer confirms that a preliminary outbreak-controlled area has been established to curb further spread of the deadly disease. Its borders include:
- an eastern border delineated by the border between the Western Cape and the Northern Cape;
- a western border delineated by the Atlantic Ocean;
- a northern border following the existing AHS protection zone border ;
- from the Atlantic Ocean (between Cape Donkin and Lamberts Bay);
- crossing the N7, 4.5km south of Trawal and indicated by an AHS controlled area signboard;
- following the Cederberg Local Municipality border east along the Doring river until the Northern Cape and Western Cape boundary;
- a southern border following the Cederberg Local Municipality border;
- east from the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 14.5km south of Elandsbaai;
- linking to the N7 at the western base of the Piekenierskloof pass;
- following the N7 to the R303 at Citrusdal; and
- following the R303 for approximately 19km to the Middelberg mountains to link back to the southern border of the Cederberg Local Municipality and to extend east to the border between the Western Cape Province and the Northern Cape Province.
This means that no horses, donkeys or zebras will be allowed to move out of, into or through the outbreak-controlled area without a permit. Permits are exclusively issued by the Western Cape department of agriculture’s veterinary services.
All forms and permit applications concerning the outbreak controlled area can be obtained and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enquiries can be directed to the state veterinarian responsible for the Cederberg municipal area and the current AHS outbreak-controlled area. Contact Dr Chanel Lombard on 027 213 3106 or email chanelL@elsenburg.com.