By T. D. Thornton
A suspected salmonella outbreak that killed three horses and sickened three others has resulted in the temporary closure of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Animal Import Center in Miami. But the shutdown of that quarantine facility does not appear as if it will drastically alter shipping plans for international contenders in the Jan. 26 pair of GI Pegasus World Cup dirt and turf events, Gulfstream Park general manager Bill Badgett told TDN Friday.
“I haven’t heard anything about that affecting us,” Badgett said. “There’s another [private] facility they could go to if that was the case. The lockdown is on the quarantine at Miami, and that’s a USDA facility. The Mexican horse, Kukulkan (Mex) (Point Determined), goes to a private quarantine. The European horses have already done their quarantine before they’ve arrived in the United States, so we don’t have to worry about them going through the quarantine in Miami. All they do is get on a van and come here to our [separate] quarantine here at Gulfstream which is [administered by] the USDA. It’s 42 hours.
“We have a quarantine facility here at Gulfstream that’s already set up,” Badgett continued. “As a matter of fact, the Japanese horse, Aerolithe (Jpn) (Kurofune), got here two days ago and is already in it. The USDA is here with it. We used that for the Caribbean Classic also.”
According to a USDA press release, the agency “is conducting environmental testing at the [Miami] facility and the samples will be sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories for diagnostic testing. Before reopening, the facility will undergo a complete cleaning and disinfection.”